Laws needed to stop dog attacks - MP

A snarling dog

A snarling dog

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Local authorities need stronger powers to deal with dangerous dogs, claims an MP.

Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, is backing a new proposal to help keep people across the Dearne safe, and to stop attacks by vicious dogs.

The proposals supported by Michael are backed by a number of groups and come in the wake of the deaths of eight adults and nine children since 2005 due to out of control dogs.

In the Yorkshire and Humber region from May 2011 to April 2012, there were 18 dog bite admissions per 100,000 of the population, over twice as many as in London where there are 7.3 admissions.

The new law would introduce Dog Control Notices in England and Wales and would give local authorities the ability to take action against people in charge of out of control animals.

The government has so far rejected calls for introducing Dog Control Notices.

Dog Control Notices have been used in Scotland since 2010 and were backed by the House of Commons Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report, “Dog Control and Welfare’’ which called the Government’s current proposals “simplistic” and “woefully inadequate” and recommended Dog Control Notices.

Mr Dugher said: “The government has failed to take necessary action to keep people in Barnsley safe from dangerous dog attacks, real action must be taken in September.

“Dangerous dogs are a serious and increasing threat to people across the country.

“These changes would mean that tough laws that have been so successful in Scotland in helping stop these terrible attacks would be extended across the UK. Police and local authorities could take action at the first sign of problems rather than having to wait until a tragedy has already occurred.”

Groups backing the proposals include the RSPCA, Battersea Dogs Home, The British Veterinary Association, the pet Charity Blue Cross, the Communication Workers Union and the Association of Police Chief Constables