Commissioner vows to continue fight for tougher dog laws

Snarling dog

The Government has missed an opportunity to bring in new laws to prevent fatal dog attacks, Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said.

Although welcoming tougher sentences for owners who allow their animals to attack, Tony Lloyd was voicing his disappointment after Parliament voted against bringing in dog control notices as the Anti Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill was debated in the House of Commons yesterday.

Backed by Bolton West MP Julie Hilling and the family of Jade Anderson, who was tragically killed in a dog attack earlier this year, dog control notices would force irresponsible dog owners to control their pets and help prevent attacks.

Now Tony is calling on the Government to rethink the legislation as it moves into the House of Lords and will be calling on peers to push for this amendment.

“I really welcome tougher sentences for people who allow their dogs to attack but prevention is better than cure. Dog control notices would force irresponsible owners to control their animals before it gets to the stage that someone is seriously injured or killed.

“It’s a common sense measure and the Government has missed an opportunity to help prevent future tragedies and spare families the pain and loss suffered by Jade’s family. But the fight is not over and I will continue to push for this measure to be introduced. I asked the people of Greater Manchester for their support on this and the overwhelming response was they welcome tougher prevention measures.”

MP Julie Hilling, who has been campaigning with Jade Anderson’s family, said: “Dog control notices are sensible proposals and I believe the Government have got it wrong by not introducing them. But the fight is not over and as the bill goes through the House of Lords we will continue campaigning for these tougher measures to protect our communities and prevent attacks happening in the first place.”

Dog control notices, sometimes dubbed “Dog Asbos”, are intended to make irresponsible owners act before their dog carries out a serious attack. They force owners to modify their behaviour, through measures like forcing them to muzzle their dogs in public, have them microchipped or neutered. Owners can also be fined and made to take their dogs on behavioural training. 

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