Key Points
  • Promoting Responsible Dog Ownership, Early Intervention Measures and Protecting the Animal
  • Successful Approaches to Tackling Dangerous Dogs and Associated Anti-Social Behaviour
  • Appropriate and Proportionate Responses to Dangerous and Out of Control Dogs
Guest of Honour

David Bowles Head of Public Affairs, RSPCA

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Overview
A year on from mandatory microchipping of dogs in England and Wales (and in the context of a 76% in the number of people hospitalised with injuries sustained from dog attacks in the past decade), the aim of this forum is to assess the way forward for promoting responsible pet ownership and the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 should that prove unsuccessful.

Delegates will examine antisocial behaviour and dog ownership, discuss successful approaches across the UK – such as the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act - share best practice and the latest thinking in engaging with owners and as well as debate the challenges of keeping the public safe from ‘out of control’ dogs.

Dogs Resemble their Owners
Promoting Responsible Dog Ownership, Early Intervention Measures and Protecting the Animal

Sessions will examine the effectiveness of preventing dog attacks and antisocial behaviour through education and outreach both with owners and through schools and colleges to increase awareness of safe and appropriate behaviour around dogs, as well as build on previous Government funded community campaigns.

Delegates will assess the impact of Community Protection Notices and Public Space Protection Orders to tackle low-level antisocial behaviour and prevent escalation into more serious offences. Time will also be paid to the potential challenges facing the introduction of a national database of dog attacks able to be shared across relevant agencies to encourage collaboration and early intervention.

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Enforcement – The Very Long (and Padded) Arm of the Law
Successful Approaches to Tackling Dangerous Dogs and Associated Anti-Social Behaviour

Sessions will focus on the successes and failures of breed specific legislation (BSL), how effective new law-enforcement measures, including Dog Control Orders, have been in reducing incidents of dog attacks, and what future strategies enforcement agencies might need to tackle status and weapon dogs.

Attendees discuss the implications of local authority budget cuts on the provision of animal wardens and the enforcement of Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) legislation, options to give officers greater discretion on when to seize dogs, as well as ways to encourage multi-agency collaboration between the Police, PSCO’s, Local Authorities, social workers, health professionals and others.

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Prosecution, Sentencing & Animal Welfare
Appropriate and Proportionate Responses to Dangerous and Out of Control Dogs

In the context of sentencing guidelines, delegates will look at options to increase successful convictions for dog-related offences, the future priorities for sentencing and the extent to which the revised guidelines are likely to impact the instances of attacks and crimes. The morning will also consider steps for safeguarding the welfare of seized animals, how to improve the rehoming process and how to reduce the cost of kennelling and unnecessary stress for dogs.

Agenda
Start

08:30 - 09:00
Coffee & Registration

 

09:00 - 09:05
Chair's Opening Remarks

 

09:05 - 09:30
A Dogs Dinner? The Future of Dangerous Dog Legislation

 
How effective has Breed Specific Legislation been and what are the options for improving Dangerous Dog legislation in the UK?



Speakers

David Bowles Head of Public Affairs, RSPCA

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09:30 - 10:30
Dogs Resemble Their Owners: Promoting Responsible Dog Ownership, Early Intervention Measures and Protecting the Animal

 
What is the latest thinking on developing effective strategies to identify potential dangerous dogs and intervene and engage with owners? What examples are there of effective animal welfare and pet ownership engagement strategies across the UK and what are the challenges and opportunities of developing a nationwide outreach programme to increase awareness of safe and appropriate behaviour around dogs?
How effective have past Government funded campaigns been and what are the opportunities to build on these?
To what extent does Breed Specific Legislation prevent animal welfare practitioners and enforcement agencies from taking early intervention measures against animals which are not prescribed in Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?
How are animal welfare practitioners responding the rise of status dogs, and what are the challenges and opportunities of engaging with owners who promote aggressive behaviour in their dogs and neglect their basic duty of care?




Speakers

Hollie Sevenoaks Head of Education, Dogs Trust

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Mark Callis Animal Welfare Service Manager, Wandsworth Borough Council

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10:30 - 10:35
Closing Remarks

 

10:35 - 11:00
Refreshments & Networking

 

11:00 - 11:05
Welcome Back

 

11:05 - 12:00
Enforcement – The Long (and Padded) Arm of The Law: Successful Approaches to Tackling Dangerous Dogs and Associated Anti-Social Behaviour

 
How successful has Breed Specific Legislation been in empowering enforcement agencies to take action against dangerous and out of control dogs, and what difference would a focus on deed rather than breed make to the power of the police and local authorities to take action?
How effective have Dog Control Orders and Community protection Notices been in tackling low level anti-social behaviour such as dog fouling and nuisance dogs?
To what extent has compulsory microchipping of dogs assisted enforcement agencies in investigating dog attacks, and what are the challenges and opportunities of making sure pet ownership databases remain up to date when animals change owners? What impact have local authority and police budget cuts had on the provision of dedicated animal wardens and the enforcement of Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) legislation?
What is the latest thinking on developing an effective multi-agency approach to tackling dangerous dogs and the use of dogs as weapons and for intimidation?
To what extent would a national database of dog attacks and associated anti-social behaviour improve, with input from police, health professionals, local authorities, social workers and environmental health professionals, allow enforcement agencies to take measures to prevent escalation?
What examples are there of best practice multi-agency approaches to enforcing DDA legislation and reducing dog attacks and instances of status of weapon dogs?
What are the challenges and opportunities of tackling the breeding of illegal dogs?




Speakers

PC Heath Keogh Community Intelligence, Wildlife Officer, Safer Sutton

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Simon Harding Senior Lecturer, Criminology, Middlesex University

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12:00 - 12:55
Prosecution, Sentencing and Animal Welfare: Appropriate and Proportionate Responses to Dangerous and Out of Control Dogs

 
To what extent have prosecutions of dog owners increased following the revision of the Dangerous Dog Act making owners liable for attacks on private property? What impact have tougher sentences had on the number dog attacks?
What are the challenges and opportunities of increasing successful prosecutions, not just for dog attacks, but for illegal dog breeding, dog fighting and the use of status and weapon dogs in gang violence?
What are the priorities for increasing support for victims of dog attacks?
How can the Police and animal welfare practitioners work together to ensure minimum standards of welfare for seized and kennelled dogs, and to what are the challenges and opportunities of fast-tracking dangerous dog cases through the court system to reduce the stress on kennelled dogs?




Speakers

Dr Sam Gaines Head of Companion Animals, RSPCA

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12:55 - 13:00
Closing Remarks

 

End

Speakers

David Bowles Head of Public Affairs, RSPCA

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Mark Callis Animal Welfare Service Manager, Wandsworth Borough Council

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Dr Rob Christley Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, University of Liverpool

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Dr Sam Gaines Head of Companion Animals, RSPCA

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Eduardo Goncalves CEO, League Against Cruel Sports

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Simon Harding Senior Lecturer, Criminology, Middlesex University

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PC Heath Keogh Community Intelligence, Wildlife Officer, Safer Sutton

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Hollie Sevenoaks Head of Education, Dogs Trust

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Dr Carri Westgarth Research Fellow , University of Liverpool

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Supporters & Contributors

Met Police

Lead Initiative


Venue details

St Martin-in-the-Fields St Martin-in-the-Fields Trafalgar Square London WC2N 4JH

Venue website

St Martin-in-the-Fields

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