Chris Evans, Member of Parliament for Islwyn helped raise awareness of the rights of assistance dog owners when he met with Guide Dogs at the Labour Party Conference.
The law gives assistance dog owners, including guide dogs owners, the right to access businesses and services.
But, according to Guide Dogs, 81% of guide dog owners have been refused access to a restaurant, shop or taxi at some point because of their dog. This has a significant negative impact on the confidence, independence and wellbeing of people who use guide dogs.
In response, Guide Dogs launched their Open Doors campaign earlier this year to raise awareness of the rights assistance dog owners have, and to urge the Government to strengthen the law so access refusals don’t happen.
Guide dog owners who experience an access refusal can report them to Guide Dogs via their app, which is available on iOS and Android.
Chris Evans MP said:
“All guide dog owners deserve to access services and businesses without fear of refusal. Therefore, I completely support Guide Dogs UKs “Open Doors” campaign.
“It was lovely to meet Winnie the Guide Dog at the Labour Party Conference and hear from Guide Dogs about the work they are doing to strengthen access rights for guide dog owners”
Blanche Shackleton, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Guide Dogs said:
“Guide Dog owners have the right to access businesses and services but all too often they are challenged and unlawfully refused. This is a deeply harmful form of discrimination that impacts the daily lives of guide dog owners.
“That’s why we want to see the law strengthened on access rights for assistance dogs, to prevent access refusals and to open doors for guide dogs.”