How Much Is That Doggie with The Asbo ?

There’s a new edition to the McCarthy household. Meet Jasper our pampered  pooch. Jasper’s an apricot and white cavapoo, a cross between a cavalier spaniel and a poodle. He’s not keen on Cava but boy does he like to poo.

His full name is Jasper George McCarthy. Is it unusual to give a dog a middle name? I think so, but my wife insisted. He’s named after Prince George, the royal baby. That’s because *woman talking to baby voice* –  ” You’re our little prince aren’t you Jasper, yes you are”.

Pet Area sign

I thought the middle name  was a stupid idea but then realised it was entirely appropriate  as he’ll be spoilt rotten, will never have to get a job and will be sponging off others for the whole of his life.

We all adore  Jasper  but then I’ve always been  a bit of a dog lover. Dogs are great. They don’t say anything, they give unconditional love and just before they turn eighteen, and you have to fund them through university, they die. Bonus.

I appreciate that a lot of people hate dogs. I think that’s because, like disc jockeys and priests, they’re only ever in the public eye for bad things they’ve done. Stuff like biting  young children and dry humping the legs of old aged pensioners. This creates  a problem because bad publicity causes governments to act hastily and hasty governments make bad laws.

I think it’s fair to say that the dog related  laws  introduced in my lifetime are the legislative equivalent of one of Jasper’s steaming late night turds.

The main laws governing civil liabilty and dog ownership can be found in The Animals Act 1971. It is undoubtedly one of the worst drafted statutes ever;  that’s some achievement given the competition. As low points of the 1970s go it’s down there with power cuts, Uriah Heep  and beating confessions out of Irishmen. Basically, if you pretend your rottweiler’s an angel and has never so much as frowned at another creature in its life, you won’t be liable under the Act even if it  mutilates a toddler.

Then along  came the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.  A pre-election, headline grabbing set of laws that didn’t do anything of any use except introduce us  to the Fila Brasileiro, the Brazilian Mastiff. Imagine a Great Dane with a serious chip on its shoulder. A Scooby Don’t.

The Fila Brasileiro was banned from the UK by the  Act, along with three other breeds, despite the fact that nobody actually knew anyone who  owned one. The breed are superb hunters and absolutely  fearless and were employed in their homeland to chase down and recover slaves who had escaped. This was back  in those halycon days when slavery was legal in Brazil. The Fila Brasileiro’s qualities have not been lost on Nigel Farage and UKIP who plan to repeal the Act and re- introduce the breed, employing them to  hunt down Romanian pickpockets and failed asylum seekers.

The latest botched attempt at  dogbite law came into force on 20th October as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

The legislation will allow the  police and council officials to issue community protection notices, or “Dogbos”, to force owners of nuisance animals to take appropriate steps to control their behaviour.

Owners of unruly canines face fines of up to £2500 and could have their dogs taken away from them or even , gulp, put down.

Nuisance behaviour includes snarling at strangers, threatening postal workers, damaging a neighbour’s property and chasing cats. No, that’s not a typo, DOGS WON’T BE ALLOWED TO CHASE CATS.

Isn’t that what dogs do? Isn’t it part of their instinctive genetic make up? It’s like spiders weaving webs or teenage boys  owning  lad’s magazines with some of the pages stuck together. How can you legislate against nature?

The latest dog laws are doomed to fail, partly because they are rubbish but also because they rely on enforcement to be effective. Enforcement means more dog  wardens and that means  more money. It’s money that both central and local government haven’t got. I’m afraid a pledge of putting more dog wardens on the street is not  likely to feature in any of next year’s party election broadcasts.

Jasper’s not bothered by all of this mind you. He’s next to me as I type,  having sex with a cushion,  totally oblivious to another well meaning but useless  piece of dog legislation.



6 thoughts on “How Much Is That Doggie with The Asbo ?”

  1. Anthony,

    Who writes ‘laws’ like this? In most cases, sorry the vast majority of cases it is the dog owners, the dogs are their product. To threaten an owner with their dog being out down because it chases a cat is farcical. Our Jack Russell/Border Terrier bit the end off the tail of our neighbours cat in Sandhurst, well it was crapping in our garden, if I’d got the rifle the cat would have been under the patio… that’s not politically correct, is it? It’s what dogs do I’m afraid.

    One of our Jack Russells, Barney, shags our farmer neighbours fourteen year old tom cat, at both ends, but they’re the best of friends. That’s a bit Tarantino isn’t it! The farmer thinks it is brilliant… Well we are in Norfolk.

    You need to buy a copy of my Terrier Book, only £30.00. Look it up on the blog under Terrier Book. Now that is an unashamed plug!


    John R

    PS Boro Norwich never happened here, well nobody speaks to me now.

    1. Thanks John,

      Almost all animal legislation is drafted in response to tragic events which politicians feel the need to respond to. They usually make a mess of it.

      Dogs are generally much better than humans from my experience, as Roy Keane said “they don’t talk shite”. They also don’t have a chip on both shoulders and a crap managerial record.

      Shame about the international break zzzzzzzz UTB

  2. WE knew an ex-Para once when we lived in Berkshire he reckoned his dog made more sense than any politician. They were also good at being dogs which is more than any politician is at being a politician. There’s a theme building here.

    International break? Give me a break, Rooney and the other odd-me-dodds from the Prem. Time to get the gun out and gather some game for the winter freezer!



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