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The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is calling for compulsory microchipping of dogs and a database of dog owners.

Some 88 per cent of the charity's conference voted in favour of microchipping dogs in order to link them to owners. 58 per cent of delegates voted in favour of dog registration.

Delegates also voted overwhelmingly against the Dangerous Dogs Act or for adding new breeds to the Act. The Act was brought by John Major's government in reaction to tabloid news stories in 1991. It outlawed four breeds; American pit bulls, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa and Fila Brazileros.

The RSPCA believes the blame should lie with irresponsible owners rather than certain breeds of dogs. The charity also said it had received twice as many reports of dog fighting in 2007 - 358 against 137 in 2006.

The government said it does not intend to introduce new legislation. ®

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