Caroline supports call to stop attacks on guide dogs
21 June 2012
The Brighton Pavilion MP has backed a call by Guide Dogs to stop attacks on guide dogs, as new figures revealed that attacks are now running at an all time high - an average of eight a month.
Caroline Lucas, who attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament and met with the Guide Dogs' Dave Kent and his dog Quince (pictured), was amongst 150 members of parliament who spoke out in support of the charity.
Guide Dogs held the reception to highlight their growing concern about attacks on guide dogs by other dogs and to ask MPs for their support.
The government is currently consulting on compulsory microchipping but has said its preferred option is to microchip puppies only. Under this plan, it would take 10 to 15 years before all dogs are microchipped.
Guide Dogs believes it would take too long to have an impact and wants to see the compulsory microchipping of all dogs within two years.
David Cowdrey, Guide Dogs' Campaigns Manager, said:
"An attack on any dog is frightening, but for a guide dog owner it is much worse.
"With more than eight reported attacks on guide dogs a month, the trauma caused by these unprovoked attacks could leave a blind or partially sighted person a virtual prisoner in their own home.
"We welcome Caroline's support for our campaign, and ultimately we want the law changed so an attack on an assistance dog is treated as seriously as an attack on a person."
"The shocking increase in the number of unprovoked attacks on guide dogs shows that far more needs to be done to tackle dangerous dogs.
"The Government must now show that it is taking the concerns of blind or partially sighted people seriously by introducing compulsory microchipping for all dogs and recognising the true seriousness of an attack on a guide dog."
Note to Editors
About The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association: The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is a British charitable organisation founded in 1934. Guide Dogs provides independence and freedom to thousands of blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services. It also campaigns passionately for the rights of those with visual impairments. Guide Dogs is working towards a society in which blind and partially sighted people enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.
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