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Welsh MP calls for businesses to face criminal charges for denying entry to guide dog owners

08 Dec 2022 2 minute read
Guide dogs Giles, Inca, Watson and Kenzie display placards to raise awareness of illegal access refusals to guide dogs. Photo David Parry PA Images

Businesses who refuse entry to guide dog owners should be punished by the law, a Labour MP has said.

Kevin Brennan told the Commons he attended a Guide Dogs’ event in Parliament on Wednesday and that he was “quite shocked” to find out that 73% of guide dog users experienced access refusal in the last 12 months.

The Cardiff West MP argued that just like it is a criminal offence for taxis and private hire vehicles to refuse a person accompanied by a working assistance dog without a valid medical exemption, the same should apply to businesses.

Speaking during business questions, Mr Brennan said at the event, he was told “using taxis is now less of a problem since it was brought into the criminal law”, adding: “But there’s still a great problem with other businesses including retail.

Debate

“Could we have a debate about making access refusal to people with guide dogs in all businesses subject to the criminal law in the same way it is for taxis?”

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt replied: “I’m sure that was an excellent event that he went to.

“I was slightly nervous when I saw the schedule for the day that it was next door to the Cats Protection League. I thought that could go terribly wrong very quickly.”

She said she would certainly raise the issue with the relevant departments, before adding: “It’s absolutely vital that whether it’s transport or whether it’s restaurants and other businesses or places of work, that everyone should be able to have access and that includes those with support animals.”


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Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
1 month ago

Excellent idea

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