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MP Calls For Tougher Dog Attack Laws

Friday October 18 2013

MP John Healey MP John Healey

AN MP has called for tougher laws to help stop dog attacks. It follows an attack on Goldthorpe woman Rebecca Lowman last month, who found police could take no action because the incident happened on private property.

Mr Healey backed amendments to the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, which will update the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, and was heard in the House of Commons this week.

Speaking in Parliament, the MP for Wentworth and Dearne said he welcomed long-awaited plans to close the loophole preventing prosecution if a dog attacks in its owner’s or a relative’s home, which was a 'significant loophole in the law'.

But he said ministers had been too slow to make that change and now had the chance to act ahead of a serious and growing problem, by introducing dog control notices.

Mr Healey said: "Thousands of victims are injured and hospitalised each year as a result of dog attacks.

"The number of owners sentenced for offences related to dangerous dogs has increased by more than one third since 2009.

"Just in South Yorkshire the police have responded to 464 dog attack incidents in the past year, and in 2013 so far they have taken out 26 court cases pursuing prosecution against those owners."He spoke about the serious injuries to Mrs Lowman’s arm and leg, suffered when defending a woman being attacked by a family dog in her own house.

Rebecca and her husband John came to Mr Healey after learning the police could not take any action because the incident happened in a private house.

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Reply Posted by questionable on Friday October 18 2013 at 17:15
I wonder how this change will affect guard dogs who attack an intruder breaking into either a scrapyard or a home for that matter. A dogs natural instinct is to protect its owners and its territory, if an intruder breaks into a home where there is a dog the dog will naturally attack in order to protect its territory and its owners, which i think the dog has every right to do. Of course i understand that if a dog was loose on the streets and attacked someone then the owner should be held responsible, i think they should clarify the difference between dog attacking someone, and a dog defending/ protecting its territory/owners. And just to clarify a dog that is vicious is not breed specific, its down to how the owners treat/mistreat them. ive seen pitbulls as soft as a brush, and pugs that are extreamly vicious, its all down to how the dogs are treated and cared for.

Reply Posted by dedatodd on Friday October 18 2013 at 18:29
In my opinion the laws need to go a step further to stop dog on dog attacks, my dog has been attacked several times yet I am unable to do anything about it. I was informed by the Police that depending on my actions when it occurs I could be the one prosecuted!

Reply Posted by Swifty on Friday October 18 2013 at 19:48
All dogs should be on a leash in a Public Place or you could go further.

Dogs should be muzzled in public place large or small. with most definite certain Breeds that could possibly be a danger than other dogs.

Let's not forget the owners should be held fully accountable for Dogs and let's add there kids to the list.

Reply Posted by heather on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 19:57
My dog has recently been attacked and I know I am powerless as nobody seems to care about dog on dog attacks. I am now terrified to walk the streets knowing that this monster, and others like it, are on the loose. I agree it is not breed specific but certain breeds are popular with certain types of people that should never even be allowed to own dogs. Pit-type dogs for example that people abuse to toughen them up and then they are let loose because the owners are too high/drunk to even notice and innocent dogs on leads like mine have to suffer and be ripped to pieces because of it.

Reply Posted by Eric Johnson on Monday May 5 2014 at 16:02
I agree entirely with you. I am sick to the teeth of walking my dog in fear of these killer fighting dogs on the loose. I think these type of breeds should be banned to the general public. I still can't find, or understand the dog laws. I do think we responsible dog owners should band together to get these killer breeds banned, and give help and support to the victims of vicious dog attacks. Do you know of any pressure groups that I could join to help sort this crazy situation.

Reply Posted by Kfc on Wednesday March 12 2014 at 20:21
I've said this before there's different breeds of cats and dogs and different breeds of humans.

Sadly the poor dogs have a different breed of so called human to look after them.

In most cases the dogs have more IQ than the owners.