Romford MP calls for overhaul of Dangerous Dogs Act and a clampdown on "irresponsible" dog owners
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 August 2016
The Dangerous Dogs Act needs a "complete review" and should be overhauled - according to Romford's MP.
Andrew Rosindell, a Staffordshire bull terrier owner himself, says the Dangerous Dogs Act should not be limited to just four breeds of dog.
Mr Rosindell believes “irresponsible” owners need to be punished and it’s unfair to single out a small number of breeds deemed to be dangerous.
“Any dog can be great if it’s trained correctly and treated with kindness,” the MP said.
“But likewise, there are lots of breeds of dogs that can be just as dangerous as the ones listed in the act if brought up to be vicious by their owner.”
Breeds banned by the 1991 act are pit bull terriers, the Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino and fila Brasileiro.
The act also makes it an offence for an owner to allow any dog “to be dangerously out of control”.
Last week, the Recorder reported how a “pitbull-type” dog was returned to its owner despite mauling a 13-year-old Yorkshire terrier to death in Hornchurch back in May.
The Yorkshire terrier’s owner called for tighter laws so dogs which attack and badly injure other pets could be immediately destroyed.
But Mr Rosindell believes each individual case needs to be examined separately when determining whether a dog should be put down after an attack.
He said: “I think where an animal clearly does something very bad then having it put to sleep has to be the likely outcome.
“But it depends on the situation, it can’t be painted with a broad brush, you have to look at the circumstances of that particular incident.”
In the last two weeks, two people have been killed following dog attacks.
Last Thursday, three-year-old Dexter Neal, was mauled by an American bulldog in Essex.
Days before Dexter’s death, 52-year-old David Ellam from Huddersfield, was killed by a pitbull which had been returned to its owner a week earlier despite concerns it was dangerous.
The Romford MP says he will be now urging the Home Secretary to carry out a complete review into the act.
He added: “I think we should get rid of this legislation and replace it with a more flexible form of regulation.
“It will mean the police can focus more on a known dangerous dog or an irresponsible owner.”