Accordingly, the Welsh Government has a web page with advice on responsible dog ownership and has called a summit comprising representatives from local government, the police, public health, third sector organisations and canine welfare and public safety campaigns.
This is so much better than the knee-jerk response implementing a ban on XL Bullies from the UK government. Such a response makes it easy to rabble rouse (surely with an eye to forthcoming elections) but does nothing to resolve a grave issue from recurring time and time again. BSL is also expensive and has resulted in the compulsory euthanasia of thousands of dogs that have never been a problem and were never going to be, not least those condemned under the vague designation of being a “pitbull”.
EFRA has released a report on Breed Specific Legislation recommending a focus on prevention through education and early intervention including training courses for dog owners who commit low to mid-level offences similar to the speed awareness courses for drivers.
As with the broken window theory, dealing with this at the lower levels of offences tackles the roots of the problem. It won’t prevent every incident but it may save a lot of dogs and owners from heartbreak.
Where Wales has taken a lead, we should follow.