Contacting Your MP:
It's important that you write to your own Member of Parliament to bring their attention to the changes affecting exempted dogs.
We have provided a template letter you can use, or you could write your own message or letter or go and visit your MP in person at your local surgery.
Four Quick & Easy Steps to Send Your MP a Message:
1) Go to www.writetothem.com and enter your postcode
2) Select your MP for your message & write in your own message/letter or copy in the text from our template letter
4) You will receive a confirmation email - click this and your letter is sent.
Please let us know when you receive a reply.
Download our template MP letter here, which reads as follows:
House of Commons, London SW1P OAA
I am writing to you as a matter of urgency concerning a Statutory Instrument called the Dangerous Dogs Exemption Schemes (England and Wales) Order 2015 No.138 and the legislation it relates to – the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (DDA), as amended. This S.I was made on the 4th February this year and laid before parliament by Lord De Mauley on the 10th and before the Lords on the 11th February.
I am deeply concerned with the negative impact this piece of secondary legislation will have on both dogs and their owners/families and urge you to take urgent action to rectify this situation.
S.I 2015 No.138 harshly impacts on dogs subject to section 1 of the DDA (prohibited types) and I believe the alterations will cause unnecessary loss of life for dogs registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs and heartache and despair to their families
Under the DDA, a dog which is found to be a prohibited ‘type’ can be ordered by the court to be added to the Index of Exempted Dogs (operated by Defra) and once certain conditions, as laid out in law, are met, which include neutering, micro-chipping and insuring within a set time-frame, the owners of exempted dogs are issued with an exemption certificate.
The courts can only order exemption, if satisfied that the dog is not a danger to public safety; the court must now look at the temperament and past behaviour of the dog, whether the applicant is a ‘fit and proper’ person to be in charge of the dog and any other relevant circumstances.
Exempted dogs and their owners/keepers must follow strict rules and regulations which include muzzling and leashing in public places for the remainder of the dog’s life.
An exempted dog, can have a separate registered owner and keeper as recorded on the exemption certificate, the registered owner remains the same for the lifetime of the dog, but a new keeper (a person) can currently be appointed by the registered owner for ANY reason if they can no longer care for the dog; there is a process to complete which does not presently involve any further legal action.
The keeper’s accommodation is checked for suitability by the police or Defra and they must abide by all the restrictions and regulations attached to the exemption scheme. If the registered keeper can no longer care for the dog, the dog is returned to the registered owner, who can appoint another keeper if necessary.
The changes will mean that the transfer of keepership will ONLY be possible via an application to the magistrates’ court within time limits specified which is in itself a complicated process for members of the public to fathom.
Also a person can ONLY be substituted as the named person on the exemption certificate if the person in charge of the dog is either dead or seriously ill.
A family canine member may need to be appointed a new person to care for it, for a variety of reasons, including, housing issues, accident/injury, employment/work commitments, family commitments, divorce/separation. Due to the changes, someone can only apply via a court application, which will be a costly and complicated process for the average person to follow in order to become the keeper of an exempted dog, if the previous person in charge of the dog is either dead or seriously ill.
Due to the S.I a husband/wife/partner/family member/friend or anyone else cannot apply to become the registered keeper unless the current person in charge of the dog is either dead or seriously ill.
In addition, an exempted dog will be unable to be kept at a different address to which the certificate is issued, for longer than 30 days over the course of a year; anyone for example who is regularly working away from home, visiting family, undergoing medical treatment/hospitalisation, travelling/working overseas, could be affected and their dog destroyed.
The changes will affect exempted dogs, much loved family members and companions - dogs which have already been found by a court of law, not to be a danger to public safety. I feel that this is draconian, oppressive and unnecessary; it does nothing to protect public safety at all.
The loss of a family member under these circumstances would be heartbreaking and unjust, I believe it is also beyond the powers given by the parent Act to force these drastic changes onto law-abiding citizens and is morally indefensible
I urge you to lay a prayer or support a motion to revoke or amend Statutory Instrument 2015 No.138 within the 40 days given and look forward to your views on this issue which is important to me and will influence the way I decide to vote in the forthcoming election in May.
DDAWatch is a Not for profit company, registration number. 7393352 While care has been taken to ensure information is correct it must be noted that this site should be considered a guide only. If you find yourself affected by legislation you must seek legal representation. Information given is for England and Wales only. Legislation in Scotland and N. Ireland may differ.