Following a number of dog attacks in recent months featuring American XL Bully dogs, Dr Neil Hudson MP has triggered and is to chair an emergency meeting of the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee investigating the incidents and the Government's proposed ban.
Dr Hudson is the only Veterinary Surgeon elected to the House of Commons since 1884 and will use his expertise with colleagues to explore the issues surrounding an American XL Bully dog ban with two panels of leading animal welfare, legal and veterinary voices.
On Wednesday morning MPs will discuss issues around the proposed ban, including the means of its implementation and enforcement and related animal welfare issues. The Committee will hear from a range of witnesses from both sides of the debate around the breed/type, to inform its understanding of this pertinent issue.
The special session feeds into the pet welfare and abuse inquiry, triggered by Dr Hudson in the wake of the pandemic which has seen dramatic shifts in pet ownership.
You can watch the full proceedings from 9:30am via www.parliamentlive.tv.
Dr Neil Hudson MP said:
"We've all grimly seen coverage a number of American XL Bully Dog attacks on people in recent months causing severe injuries and tragically leading to the loss of life. It is clear to me that action must be taken in the interest of public and other animal safety and I look forward to making progress on the issue imminently.
"As a Veterinary Surgeon this issue is extremely close to my heart and I thought it incredibly important that I trigger an urgent session to provide expert analysis needed to enact complex legislative change. I will be chairing the Select Committee session on Wednesday morning and would highly encourage those interested to watch and from the range of leading voices in the fields of law, animal welfare and veterinary medicine."
Witnesses (To be confirmed):
· David Martin, Group Animal Welfare Advisor at IVC Evidensia
· Dr Lawrence Newport, Lecturer in Law at Royal Holloway University of London, and Co-founder of the Campaign for Evidence-Based Regulation of Dangerous Dogs
· Dr Paula Boyden, Veterinary Director at Dog's Trust
From c. 10:30am:
· Dr Samantha Gaines, Head of Companion Animals at RSPCA
· James McNally, Partner at Slee Blackwell Solicitors
· The Rt Hon. the Lord Baker of Dorking CH, (former Home Secretary 1990 – 1992, at the time of the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs Act)