‘This is for all of us’: rider’s call to Government for better protection from dangerous dogs

  • A rider who was attacked by a dog last year, and has since had five or six similar near-misses, has launched a Government petition hoping for “better protection for all of us”.

    More than 45,000 people signed a previous petition Victoria Privett started on Change.org, and she is hoping for support in her call for a change to dangerous dogs legislation. Victoria started the campaign, which includes videos of good and bad dog ownership, posted on her social media, after she and her mare Darcey were attacked while out hacking last April.

    “We were on a bridleway and the dog’s owner took no responsibility at all,” Victoria told H&H.

    “She gave false details and basically just walked off. I had it recorded on my GoPro but when I reported it to the police, the officer, who was also a rider, said that because I hadn’t shown any fear on camera, the dog wasn’t seen as out of control.”

    Sign the petition

    Darcey suffered a minor flesh wound and, once Victoria’s video posted on social media led to the owner’s identification, the police issued her a dog behaviour contract.

    “I contacted my MP and Defra, and Defra said the Dangerous Dogs Act covers out-of-control dogs in public but doesn’t mention horses, or horses and rider, specifically, so that’s the issue. This petition is about making horses part of that legislation.”

    Victoria said she believes the issue is not talked about enough. She always hacks with a GoPro so started sharing all her encounters with dogs.

    “I started coming across amazing, responsible owners too so I thought this could be about public awareness and education,” she said. “I have had some near-misses, or incidents that could have been serious; maybe five or six in the last year that could have been major but were stopped in time.

    “I wanted to get people talking but the petition is because I want better protection for all of us, horses and riders. It’s not about the dogs themselves, it’s about holding owners responsible, proportionately to the incident.”

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