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It’s too little too late on danger dogs
The proposals put forward by the Government yesterday in a bid to crack down on the danger of vicious Dogs, while welcome, are the classic case of too little too late.
This paper produced a five point action plan as part of a campaign launched six years ago after a number of horrific attacks on people and other dogs.
Environment minister Jim Paice announced plans for compulsory microchipping of dogs and the closure of the loophole which can allow dog owners to escape prosecution if an attack takes place on their property. And while we are pleased that finally some action is being taken to tighten up the law, there are a number of other areas not addressed, including a compulsory registration scheme for dog owners, mandatory life bans on ownership for anyone convicted of having a dangerous dog, and a specific offence of allowing a dog to stray.
It was the attack on Rukhsana Khan in 1991 that originally led to the Dangerous Dogs Act. She was left with life-changing injuries after she was attacked by a pit bull terrier when she was only six. Despite the clamour for action and the introduction of the act, too many people are still being savagely injured by dogs, which is why we launched our campaign in 2006.
Look at the reports elsewhere in this paper, where victims and their friends and families speak out about their concerns – and all are in agreement that the new proposals don’t go far enough.
Look at the figures for dog bite admissions to A&E in the region – there were 881 of them in the 12 months up until April last year in the Yorkshire and Humberside region.
The last thing anyone wants to see is another child like Rukhsana suffering horrific injuries – or worse – in the jaws of a dangerous dog.
Welcome as the proposals are, changes to the law must go further to protect people – particularly children– from being attacked. The minister must take another look and see if he can come up with a stronger set of proposals.