Changing laws – The problem with the Save Lennox campaign

Following on from my diary entry yesterday where I looked at the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, the Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 and the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997 and the Save Lennox campaign. Today I’ve heard that Lennox is scheduled to be euthanised tommorow.

Yesterday I said I believe in common sense, and pointed out that not following laws would lead to anarchy. Now Belfast City Council may have made mistakes (I do not know and will not judge), however once the dog was seized the matter entered the legal system. By doing this it became the responsibility of the courts, and the laws and legislation of Northern Ireland – in this case the Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991.

Now the problem is that the social campaigns are targetting Belfast City Council and pushing to boycott belfast. Sadly a council has no power to change laws, and I believe rightly so as just imagine if councellors could change laws to suit themselves?

I have seen some tweets with emails for the attorney general which is better than Belfast City Council. From some quick research I believe that it falls to the Northern Ireland Assembly to set and make laws. I’ve found a page listing all the different representatives here http://aims.niassembly.gov.uk/mlas/search.aspx and would take a guess that contacting these (a lot of them have twitter & facebook) asking why there was no Amendment in 1997 and requesting them to intervene. Something like the following (feel free to copy this)

Dear,

I am writting to enquire as to why The Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 was not amended in 1997 in line with the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997 which applies to the rest of the UK?

The current legislation gives courts no discretion as to whether they feel a dog poses a public danger or not. Currently if a dog matches the physical characteristics of a banned breed a court has no option but to order it destroyed (put to death by euthanasia).

Belfast City Council recently seized Lennox, a family pet with the physical characteristics of a pit bull that has no history of violence and the courts have no option but to sentance this much loved pet to death. This is despite international pressure and offers to adopt Lennox from animal charities in countries like the USA  where there is no legislation against this breed.

I look forward to your response, and your action to correct this legislation.

Your Name

Obviously you can modify this as you see fit. Personally I believe that it is important to treat the cause of a problem, which in this case is the legislation. Lennox is not going be the last dog to needlessly be euthanised because of this outdated order unless something changes. Courts should be given the discretion to make a decision on whether an individual animal poses a danger instead of this current Breed Specific Legislation.

In other news today, my dissertation is taking shape nicely, I’ve also been watching All Creatures Great and Small again whilst I’ve been working.

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