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House: dog laws up for debate

File photograph

Two town hall meetings will address dog legislation next week.

Speaking in the House of Assembly, Walton Brown, Minister of Home Affairs, said that the ministry has been consulting with stakeholders on updating the Dogs Act, which has been criticised for its handling of restricted breeds.

Mr Brown said: “The issues of how to best care for, manage and control dogs has been raised in this House on numerous occasions.

“Issues debated have included how to manage illegal breeding, animal abuse and neglect, and more effective methods of enforcement.

“The focus for much of this debate, however, has been on how to best manage problematic breeds, such as the pitbull, and associated controversial breed-specific policies.

“The challenge continues to be in finding the right balance between the desire to have one’s dog of choice and ensuring public safety.”

As part of the consultation process, Mr Brown announced that public meetings will be held on the topic on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, at the Anglican Church Hall and the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo respectively.

Both meetings will begin at 6pm.

“Our aim must be to develop a sustainable approach to canine management,” he said. “I encourage members of the public to attend these meetings and share their concerns and proposals.

“Their input will conclude the public consultative process, and allow the government to shape the new legislative framework.”

• To read Mr Brown’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”