Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

13 JUN 2012

MP supports call to stop attacks on guide dogs

Local MP Steve Brine is supporting Guide Dogs' call to halt the increasing problem of attacks on working dogs. The Winchester MP was amongst the 150 members of parliament that backed the charity's call at a recent event in the House of Commons.

New figures released on Monday, 11 June, showed attacks on guide dogs are at an all time high and now running at an average of eight a month. The charity 'Guide Dogs' held the reception to highlight the charity's growing concern about attacks on guide dogs by other dogs and to ask MPs for their support.

The government is currently consulting on compulsory micro chipping but has said its preferred option is to microchip puppies only. Under this plan, it would take 10 to 15 years before all dogs are microchipped. Guide Dogs believes it would take too long to have an impact and wants to see the compulsory microchipping of all dogs within two years.

Guide Dogs sees the compulsory microchipping of all dogs as a vital first step towards reducing the number of attacks, but believes the Government should go further. It is also calling for a review of the law to bring England in line with Scotland where an offence against a registered guide dog is treated as an offence against the person.

David Cowdrey, Guide Dogs' Campaigns Manager, said: "An attack on any dog is frightening, but for a guide dog owner it is much worse. With more than eight reported attacks on guide dogs a month, the trauma caused by these unprovoked attacks could leave a blind or partially sighted person a virtual prisoner in their own home.

"We welcome Steve Brine's support for our campaign, and ultimately we want the law changed so an attack on an assistance dog is treated as seriously as an attack on a person."

Steve, who is the proud owner of a Labrador (Popcorn) said: "This is a very important campaign and an issue I haven't come across before. The new figures are pretty startling and really tell me something must be done. I am going to be pressing Ministers to look again at the micro chipping issue and following up the legal arguments around an offence against the person through my work with the Justice Committee."

Pictured; Steve with 'Quince' and his owner Dave Kent at the House of Commons event

More information...

Find out more at www.guidedogs.org.uk.

You can also watch a short video at http://youtu.be/ZeIPsv4NAg8

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Contact Steve Brine in Westminster

Call your MP in his Commons office on 0207 219 7189 or email steve.brine.mp@parliament.uk

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