Dog lovers have united worldwide in peaceful protests, rallies and awareness days which have taken place in a united global day of anti-breed specific legislation events this month.
The UK joined the global day of action once again and London took part with a peaceful protest, the Westminster event was held on Saturday 15th July and there were also awareness day events in Coventry West Midlands and Cardiff, Wales.
The Westminster protest was organised by DDA Watch Ltd, a campaign group which helps and supports dogs and their families affected by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and this years' event marked 26 years of failed, unjust dog law in the UK.
Ottawa, Winnipeg, Ontario, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Barrie, Truro, Nova Scotia in Canada and Germany also held anti-BSL events for the 15th July as part of the Global Anti-breed specific legislation issue affecting dogs and their families world wide.
Dog lovers travelled across the UK to unite and take a stand for innocent dogs and to call for a repeal of a failed piece of legislation that targets types of dogs and condemns them as 'dangerous' based on their physical appearance.
The Westminster protest was a grass-roots gathering, with volunteers present who actively campaign and support innocent dogs and their families being torn apart by breed specific legislation on a daily basis.
Attending to support the event was veterinary surgeon and animal behaviourist Dr Kendal Shepherd MRCVS, canine behaviourists Robert Alleyne and Jordan Shelley and dog trainer for film, television and stage productions, Robert Stuhldreer with his beautiful assistance dog Flora. One supporter was dressed as the 'Grim Reaper' with a message for Defra attached to the black outfit which said 'I am Breed Specific Legislation' and gave out information leaflets to those passing by outside the Parliamentary buildings.
Giving out plenty of canine kisses was the beautiful Staffie named 'Whippet', a Battersea Dogs Home Ambassadog who came along to support the event with her mum, Chris McLean. Whippet wore her special pink coat with the words 'Breed Specific Legislation Murders My Friends' written on it, raising awareness for her doggy pals.
At the event in central London, there was a large white sheet headed ‘People’s Messages to Defra – 26 Years of Tears’ and dog lovers wrote their own personal messages to be sent to Government; some in memory of much loved dogs who had never put a paw wrong and have been killed by the outdated legislation.
Another precious dog named Paul was remembered, heartbreakingly his casket of ashes was brought to the protest to show the end result of many dogs affected by this harsh and unfair legislation. Paul had lost his life in 2015 and campaigners shed tears as his casket was placed in remembrance at the event.
Banners and placards were held high just outside the mighty buildings of Westminster where the law which condemns dogs based on their appearance was first passed 26 years ago; a young supporter who had travelled a considerable distance held up a photograph of Lennox, a canine victim of breed specific legislation from Northern Ireland whose death five years ago this month had sparked global outrage and condemnation, bringing the injustices of the legislation to the attention of thousands of people across the world and leaving a legacy of hope that disastrous BSL will one day end.
Two supporters from Devon held up their placard for a much loved dog named Sky who is held incarcerated and caught up in a legal nightmare due to BSL.
Another innocent dog named Blitz who has been tragically sentenced to death under the barbaric law and endured two and a half years imprisoned on canine death row was remembered and many members of the public were shocked to learn that this is what can and often does happen in the UK and overseas, to pet dogs who have never bitten or hurt anyone. Several people who stopped to speak to the campaigners expressed their disgust and shock that this legislation exists in Great Britain and other parts of the world.
Over two thousand DDA Watch leaflets were distributed in central London and further petition signatures were gained to help create awareness of the situation which campaigners say is long overdue for repeal.
Maria Daines, a Director of DDA Watch and one of the event organisers said: 'It is high time breed specific legislation was at least extensively debated in parliament with a view to repealing section 1 (DDA) which has proven over 26 years to be ineffective, unfair and cruel to the dogs and families affected by it. Education (as opposed to prohibitive legislation) is necessary and helps to keep dog owners, the public and canine companions safe; Banning, restricting and killing dogs that look a certain way is ridiculously outdated, heartbreaking for many and a waste of public money. In 2017, we can and should be doing much better for our canine friends, their families, the public and those who work with dogs, including stray and rescue dogs.'