PLANS for a compulsory insurance for pet dogs have been attacked by Conservative hopeful Graham Evans.
The Labour levy – dubbed ‘dog tax’ – would have seen families across the county forced to pay for a third party insurance for owning a dog.
But the government overturned the plan one week after it was announced.
Graham Evans, Weaver Vale MP candidate, said: “Plans for a dog tax would penalise up to 13,000 law-abiding dog lovers across Cheshire West and Chester and do nothing to target irresponsible dog owners.
“I fear this will hit the poorest homes the hardest.
“We need tougher laws against the growing problem of dangerous dogs being used in acts of violence.
“But it is a sledgehammer to crack a nut to impose a dog tax on a poodle.”
The Government announced a consultation which included proposals which would have seen all dog owners pay for compulsory third party insurance and face penalties – fines or criminal sanctions – for breaching it.
But environment secretary Hilary Benn, speaking as the proposal was ruled out, said it would not be turned into policy as ministers did not want to penalise responsible owners.
Graham added: “In practice, this ‘dog tax’ would not affect the owners of the most dangerous dogs as the Dangerous Dogs Act already bans the ownership and sale of fighting dogs like pit bull terriers.
“It is possible for dogs to be exempted from the ban, but owners must have their dogs neutered, muzzled and obtain third party insurance.
“Owners of dangerous dogs which are already illegal are unlikely to take out such insurance.”