I have been a long-time fan of The One Show but I have been left utterly disgusted by the segment on dangerous dogs that was screened on BBC1 this evening.
I am aware that any animal can prove dangerous and yes, I accept that a minority of dogs can have behavioural issues or psychological defects that can lead to the development of aggression. However, I do not believe that it is possible to classify a ‘dangerous dog’ by breed. There is no such thing as an inherently dangerous dog. there are only irresponsible owners.
The people whose dogs were seized in tonight’s segment appeared to be decent owners who were taking care of their dogs. The animals wagged their tails and didn’t seem to struggle. These were PETS and I am disgusted that at no point was it pointed out that ANY dog has the potential to cause harm, not just these particular breeds. Broadcasting images of these creatures in stressful environments did little but assist in the spread of ignorance: at no point was there an explanation that these animals could be barking or growling out of stress or fear .
I am a journalist myself, at least that’s what I aspire to be. I always understood responsible journalism to consist of reportage that was fair and balanced. I saw nothing of this in the report broadcast this evening.
I was deeply upset to hear Alex Jones link to the next segment on wildlife using the phrase ‘SAFER’ animals. I felt that her use of language was inappropriate and did not reflect an understanding of the issue at hand.
I hope that The One Show will be making every effort to clarify that just because a dog is banned, it doesn’t mean it’s dangerous. I hope they will afford equal air-time to those experts who believe that Breed Specific Legislation doesn’t work and would argue against its implementation.