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New Safety Rules For Agility

Various Animal Welfare Groups, supported by both Legal and Health & Safety Experts are in the process of informing Agility Organisations that two new sets of Safety Legislation that have received Royal Ascent in Parliament this week will make it compulsory for all dogs who compete in Licensed Agility Competitions to wear Head Protection.

The “Protection Of Animals (Amendment) Act 2005”, and The “Protective Equipment (EC Directive) Regulations 2005” require that all dogs be protected against “Foreseeable Risks” such as banging their heads on tunnel entry’s or the inside of tyre rings etc.

The full regulations which can be downloaded from the HMSO web site state that 3 types / styles of head protection would be acceptable, these are:

Cycles Style Helmets which must be to either British Standard BS 6863:1989, or to European Standard BS EN 1076:1997.

Construction Type Hard Hats to BS 397 or ANS 289

Horse Riding Style Hats Hats complying with BS EN 1384 are the minimum acceptable standard. However, Hats to the PAS 015 or ASTM F1163 specifications are considered to provide greater levels of protection.

Whatever the style of Head protection used, it must be Kite Marked and CE Marked to indicate that it complies with the minimum standards. All Hats must be fitted with a flat leather or web strap complete with buckle or clip fixing (as per the collar rule).

Similarly, volunteers will be required to measure all dogs to check that they have the correct size and type of head protection and that it is fitted correctly.
New requirements will also be placed on Show Managers and Judges to ensure that any dogs that do not comply with these new rules are not allowed to compete.

These arrangements will be put out for consultation prior to them coming into force at around this time next year.

An example of how this will look is attached.

Comments on these new rules can be sent to Redgates
who will post them on this web site.
And some of the responses we got were:

Christine:  “Disgraceful!!! Shocking!!! Terrible!!! How can they do this???”

Ana: “Good Prank!!!! I actually believed it for a good half hour - and went round telling people.”

Marc: “Has anyone thought it could be a GAG for April fools day??????  If it is an April fools day trick, its great one!!
           But if it aint well, what a stupid idea!!!”

Ian “Next they will have to have lights so they can see in the dark tunnels”

Brenda: “Where would you get a safety helmet small enough for the minis? Someone has not thought this through properly - again “

Jane: “If you read the recommendations carefully, you will find that indeed it has been thought through! You really shouldn't laugh, this kind of terrible bureaucracy is getting to be just too much. Unfortunately they have also brought this legislation in for cats that climb trees. A grapefruit does the job beautifully. I believe a melon would work well on a medium dog.”