West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is dismayed after the Government rejects the chance to introduce fartougher measures on dog attacks against the owners and animals.
As a member of the committee scrutinising the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, MP Rosie put her name to proposals to amend the Bill.
On 15 May Rosie spoke in a Parliamentary Debate in which she referred to two dog attacks in West Lancashire. One of the incidents involved a 4 year old boy staying at a friend’s house when the dog attack took place. The child was left with nine facial scars. Whilst in a separate incident a female adult was attacked in the street. Cases of dog attacks with tragic consequences have gained national media coverage, including that of Jade Lomas Anderson a 14 year old savaged by four dogs.
Due to the limitations of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in both these cases no legal action could be taken as the dogs were not dangerous breeds and the attacks happened on private property.
Speaking after the committee MP Rosie said:
“I firmly believe that we need tougher measures when it comes to dog attacks. Measures that apply to both the animal and the owner. We must do more to ensure that people of all ages are better protected. We must empower and enable law enforcement agencies with the necessary powers to enforce that protection.
“I do appreciate there cannot be 100% guaranteed protection and there are no measures to guarantee all dog attacks will be prevented. However, we can ensure that the same animal does not carry our more than one attack. We can also surely place pressure on owners to meet their responsibilities and be more cautious knowing there will be consequences. For me, dangerous dog owners should have no place to hide, no protection from prosecution – whether in the street or in their own home.
“Working with Labour colleagues we pushed for these amendments to the Bill so that we would have legislation that does the job it needs to do. The tragic cases of child deaths caused by dog attacks shows the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is no longer fit for purpose.
“Sadly, the Conservative members voted to reject having better protection and stronger powers, enabling the police to act. They should be ashamed.”