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To: Rory Stewart MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Elizabeth Truss - Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Revoke or Amend S.I 2015 No.138 & Save Lives
Revoke or Amend The Dangerous Dogs Exemption Schemes (England and Wales) Statutory Order 2015 No.138 to prevent the death of countless exempted pet dogs which have already been found by the courts not to be of any danger to public safety.
The Order was laid before Parliament by Lord de Mauley and came into force on the 3rd March 2015:
The procedure regarding the change of the registered keeper on the exemption certificate should remain as it is, or if changed and a court process introduced, it should be the court’s decision to make after hearing the circumstances; the restriction requiring the appointed person to be dead or seriously ill should be removed-there should not be limited reasons laid down in law to allow for a transfer of the person appointed to take charge of an exempted dog.
The process for a non-legal person i.e. a rescue/animal welfare charity/company/local authority to be registered as the owner on the exemption certificate and re-home an exempted dog via a keepership change should be possible and straightforward. Under the SI 138 changes, if a non-legal person is registered on the exemption certificate as the registered owner, a dog cannot be appointed another separate registered keeper to the one currently appointed (a person) unless there has been a death or serious illness of the ‘appointed person’.
The requirement that the exempted dog and appointed person must reside at the same address save for 30 days over a year, should be removed: The Index of Exempted Dogs could be informed if the owner/keeper is away for more than 30 consecutive days. If the dog is kept at a different address, to where it is registered, for longer than a period of 30 days; the Index can be notified of a change of address, as is currently the case.
Why is this important?
The court 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.
The changes will affect and be a death sentence to 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. The changes are draconian and do nothing to protect public safety.
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 complicated process for the average person to follow, to be the keeper if the previous person in charge of the dog is either dead or seriously ill.
A non-legal person i.e. a rescue/animal welfare charity/company/local authority already registered or about to be registered as the owner on the exemption certificate should be able to re-home their exempted dog via a keepership change without restriction and appoint another registered keeper to the one appointed for any reason deemed necessary, thus saving the dog’s life.
If the person to whom the exemption certificate has been issued is away and at a different address to their dog for more than 30 days over the course of a year, according to the new rules set out under SI 138, the dog must die; However, 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. This cannot be fair nor just, it is not necessary