Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Petition to stop Staffordshire Bull Terrier being banned debated in Parliament

The legal status of Staffordshire Bull Terriers has been debated by MPs in Parliament.

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier Credit: PA

There are calls for the breed to be banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act, along with Pit Bulls and three other “fighting dogs” – the Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasiliero.

PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - want to ban the breeding of all dogs - including Staffies which they say are the most commonly abused and abandoned breed. They say it's “what’s best for dogs.”

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are currently reviewing the law and asked for written evidence.

More than 160,000 dog lovers signed a petition against the ban, which triggered the Parliamentary debate.

The RSPCA agree with the petition too, saying that Staffies can be wonderful dogs and make lovely family pets.

They said, "We are particularly worried that information like this may make these types of dogs more desirable to those who may wish to use them to scare or intimidate other people and which can often result in the poor treatment of these types of dogs."

Staffordshire Police made the record books when Police Dog Cooper became the force’s first ever Staffordshire Bull Terrier when he joined in March, after leaving an RSPCA rescue centre in the West Country.

He spent six weeks training alongside Archie and Barry.

Credit: Staffordshire Police

Staffordshire Police are leading the way in showing that there’s more to this breed of dogs as Staffies seem to get an unfair reputation. They’re showing that you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and Cooper is a fine example of that, as he has surpassed all expectations with what he has learnt during the past six weeks.

– LEE WEBB, AVON & SOMERSET POLICE

During the debate, Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy highlighted the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as the mascot of the old Staffordshire Regiment - called Watchman - saying that many positive views are held over the breed.

It was also argued in the debate that more emphasis should be put into tackling irresponsible dog ownership, rather than targeting specific breeds.

At the end of the debate, The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, George Eustice MP, said, "the Government have no plans at all to add Staffordshire bull terriers, or any other type of dog, to the list of prohibited dogs."