Attacks on guide dogs spark call for tougher law

SHEFFIELD MP David Blunkett has called for tougher laws to tackle dangerous dogs after a charity revealed guide dogs are being savaged at the rate of three a month.

The MP for Brightside and Hillsborough, who has had several guide dogs as his constant companions, said the issue needed bringing out into the open.

The charity Guide Dogs says existing laws are not tackling the menace of Britain's dangerous breeds - including types of animals that were outlawed 20 years ago.

Mr Blunkett described the problem as a "hidden calamity".

He said: "At its root it is about the owners, their irresponsibility, sheer thoughtlessness and lack of care. Highlighting this particular aspect of dangerous dogs, and danger to other dogs, as well as people, is extremely helpful in focusing on what might work and how to strengthen the existing laws in the interests of all of us."

Guide Dogs campaign manager David Cowdrey said although there were only 5,000 guide dogs in the country they were being attacked at the rate of three a month.

He said: "If a dog is badly hurt and traumatised it has to be treated and may have to be retrained.

"For a visually impaired person they are not only losing a source of mobility but also a trusted companion and friend.

"Guide dogs are docile, highly trained animals and they are also non-aggressive and very gentle. Their devotion and training means they think about their owners before their own safety.

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