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Dangerous Dogs

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:26 pm on 15th June 1989.

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Photo of Douglas Hogg Douglas Hogg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 7:26 pm, 15th June 1989

I am perfectly prepared to contemplate that possibility. Last night, the hon. Gentleman commended to us a dog registration scheme, but let us consider what the hon. Gentleman has just said.

What he is proposing as a possibility is that a clog warden employed under the scheme should have the responsibility to determine whether particular individuals should or should not have the right to own a particular class of dog. All right, but what kind of person will be employed as a dog warden? To whom is that dog warden to be accountable? Would most people want to have their right to possess a particular animal determined by the kind of person who is likely to be employed as a dog warden? That is a serious question to ask.

We would have to have an appeal system, because, once one decides to refuse someone the right to have a dog, one must set up an appeal system. After all, that is what we do in the case of firearms. You will bear in mind from your intimate knowledge of the firearms system, Madam Deputy Speaker, that, when one is refused a section 1 certificate, or in certain circumstances a shotgun certificate, one has the right to go to the Crown court to appeal. One could not do less in respect of a person who had been refused ownership of a dog. That person would have to have the right to appeal to the Crown court, with all the paraphernalia that that would entail.