Saturday, 5 October 2019
ATR: It's far from clear if (apart from the blind), who can legally take a dog into an area with food etc. This is the first instance we have seen of an Autistic challenging the systems with an assistive dog so a grey area. To some degree, you have to have empathy with business who see the strict health and safety/food laws in tatters as they can get fined for admitting an assistance animal or from preventing entrance to one.
The law needs clarifying, when is a dog a pet, and not an assistive trained animal? If we take the next logical approach to this type of access then EVERYONE with a registered issue will be taking animals into cafes including those with mental health issues, depressions etc... A quarter of the UK population, food outlets will surely then breach all food hygiene laws? And what of other customer rights, not to have animals next to them while they are eating? Can any business insist on who or who does not, enter their premises?
A family was left ‘humiliated’ after their young son who has autism was turned away from a shop because he had his assistance dog with him. Three-year-old Leon Bulner and dad Karsten visited a Londis store with two-year-old dog Fern but said they were told the animal was not allowed in after two ‘disgusting’ exchanges. When Mr Bulner tried to explain that his son has moderate to severe autism, he said the cashier at the store in Hampshire village Weyhill, near Andover, told him ‘no dogs, end of’.
After going back the following day to explain the situation to the manager, he added that he was ‘basically thrown out’ and told that only dogs for blind or deaf people were allowed. He retorted that the shop wasn’t following the law, but Mr Bulner said the staff member replied that it was ‘Londis law’ and that he ‘didn’t care’ about a potential fine. The store’s parent company has since apologised and said they will update their policies.