A recent two-part documentary on STV looking at the problem of dangerous dogs highlighted clearly that the issues we face with out-of-control dogs are often sadly the result of irresponsible ownership.
Under our proposal for a general licence, responsible dog owners, who microchip their dogs, treat them kindly and keep them under control, would feel little difference.
There would, however, be a cost-effective mechanism for authorities to enforce responsible dog ownership where problems arise. Finding a long-term solution to the horrors of dog attacks is crucial but there is no one-size-fits-all fix that will solve all of the problems.
Neither the wider population of dogs, nor the majority of owners who are caring and responsible, should pay the price for irresponsible breeding and inappropriate behaviour by a minority.