Did you know that up until 1987, you had to have a licence to own a dog of any kind within Great Britain, and that in Northern Ireland you still need a licence to own a dog? These days, literally almost anyone can legally buy and own a dog, and there are no restrictions on who can or cannot keep a pet, other than people that have been banned from keeping animals due to a conviction for cruelty. But despite over twenty five years having passed since dog licenses were abolished within Britain, many organisations including the RSPCA are lobbying for the re-introduction of a mandatory dog licence for every dog, and claim that this will help to reduce the number of homeless and uncared for dogs in the country and generally improve welfare standards. Are they correct? Why were the original dog licenses introduced, how effective were they and why were they eventually abolished?