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U.K. government pulls back on proposal that'd require dog owners to purchase pet insurance

March 16, 2010 |  2:07 pm

Pit bull

LONDON — It seems the British government's bark is worse than its bite.

Authorities say they will not require all dog owners to take out insurance -- just days after proposing the measure in a bid to clamp down on dangerous canines.

The plan would have made millions of dog owners buy insurance against the risk of their pet attacking someone.

The government said it wanted to stop people who use pit bulls and other aggressive dogs to intimidate others, but critics said the idea was unfair.

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said Tuesday that he had ruled out compulsory insurance because he didn't want to penalize responsible dog owners.

The opposition Conservatives accused ministers of turning the issue into a "political dog's dinner."

-- Associated Press

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Photo: A pit bull relaxes on a picnic table at a dog park in L.A.'s Silver Lake neighborhood in 1998. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

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