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Islington dog expert speaks of ongoing problem in light of new law

PUBLISHED: 06:59 29 November 2011

Police dog handler Andrew Rigby with suspected pitbull  after a raid on a flat in Hathersage Court, Newington Green

Police dog handler Andrew Rigby with suspected pitbull  after a raid on a flat in Hathersage Court, Newington Green

Archant

» A top canine expert has spoken of the ­continuing dangerous dog problem in light of possible new legislation to toughen up the law.

The House of Lords has just approved a new Bill which focuses on prevention – but the RSPCA has criticised it for not going far enough.

Now David Grant, director of Harmsworth Animal Hospital, Sonderburg Road, Holloway, has revealed his service is full of injured animals because of the culture of breeding status dogs in the ­borough.

He said: “There are a lot of fighting and abandoned dogs in Islington.

“The dog wardens can’t cope and we are very busy – completely full up. We can’t take any more. We get two or three bitten animals a day, 30 or 40 a month, hundreds a year.

“The biggest problem is people mating and ­attempting to breed inappropriate big dogs for the wrong reasons. People openly say they have their dogs for protection and safety.”

Mr Grant continued: “People think they can have a go at breeding and make a bit of money – ­undisclosed cash as well. You can bet they are not paying tax on it.

“To make things worse, a lot of this goes on in small council flats. The landlords either don’t have tenancy agreements about this, or aren’t doing enough to enforce it.

“We are here to clean up the mess. We don’t have time to think about policy, but the RSPCA 
is the best organisation 
to think about this stuff and inform the government.”

In August, the Gazette revealed there were 41 incidents reported to the police involving dangerous dogs in the last 12 months, with 18 bites.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: “The RSPCA strongly believes the dangerous dogs law is in urgent need of updating, however we feel Lord Redesdale’s bill is flawed because it focuses more on reactive than proactive measures.”

They believed a Bill drafted by the RSPCA, chief police officers and dog wardens was more effective and proactive.


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