Examination of Witnesses

Part of Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:11 am on 23rd July 2019.

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Inspector O'Hara:

It is a difficult question because we are starting to see, and have been seeing for a number of years, a reduction in the number of section 1 dogs in particular coming to notice as status-type symbols. However, people are moving on to non-prohibited breeds, and we see quite a lot of those. Simple possession is not an offence in any way, so whereas a pitbull terrier would have been a typical dog in the past, there are now people with, for example, dogs that are larger than a pitbull terrier. Typically, we do not see a lot of dog fighting, and we do not see a lot of mutilations and ear-croppings, although we do see them occasionally, and they do come to note. If I look at my animal welfare offences prosecuted alongside the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 offences, I am not necessarily sure that there is a real strong parallel. If anyone is charged with a Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 offence, mostly there are not really cruelty offences on top of that, other than in the odd case.