Thursday, 9 August 2012

Cambridge MP Takes Blindfolded Walk To Support Guide Dog Campaign


MP Julian Huppert will be blindfolded and team up with a guide dog to discover the challenges facing blind and visually impaired people navigating the streets of Cambridge.

Julian’s walk will take place on Monday (August 13) when he will meet up with a representative from Guide Dogs for the Blind at the city’s Grand Arcade at 2pm.

During his 30 minute walk he will rely totally on the guide dog for guidance.

Julian agreed to take part in the blindfold walk after supporting a Parliamentary reception earlier in the summer which called on MPs to back the charity’s campaign to stop attacks on guide dogs by other dogs.

Figures show attacks on guide dogs are at an all-time high and now running at an average of eight a month.

The government is currently consulting on compulsory microchipping of dogs but its preferred option is to microchip puppies only. Under this plan, it would take 10 to 15 years before all dogs are microchipped. The charity, however, is calling for the compulsory microchipping of all dogs within two years and believes this is a vital step towards reducing the attacks.

Julian said: “We need to act quickly on this issue and microchipping would allow us to trace the owners of out of control dogs and bring them to justice.

“Guide dogs are lifelines to blind people. It allows them to live as normal a life as possible; without the guide dogs they could be confined to their homes. These dogs are placid animals which are being attacked for no reason and that has to stop.

“Most of us are fortunate in that we have no idea what it would be like to be blind. I am hoping that my walk through Cambridge will give me a better understanding of the challenges these people face.”