The British Horse Society (BHS) has joined forces with the RSPCA and 20 leading animal charities, law enforcement agencies and trade unions to fight for tougher dog laws.

The groups have demanded the main political parties crack down on irresponsible dog ownership and update current “inadequate” legislation.

BHS director of welfare and safety Mark Weston said: “We support the RSPCA’s attempts for legislation to make it an offence to allow a dog to be aggressive or use it to cause harassment to a protected animal — the definition of which includes a horse.”

A consultation on dangerous dogs, started by Labour and continued by the coalition government, finished in June, attracting more than 4,000 public responses.

A Defra spokesman said: “We take the issues around irresponsible dog ownership, including the health and welfare of dogs, very seriously.

“We are carefully considering all responses before deciding on future action.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (16 September, ’10)