MP wants dogs law

MP Mike Wood.(131034)
MP Mike Wood.(131034)

A Kirklees MP has called on the government to toughen up laws to crack down on the behaviour of dangerous dogs.

Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood said he wants more to be done to avoid attacks on private property.

Mr Wood sent his concerns to a parliamentary select committee, and added: “A variety of issues have been raised with me about dangerous dogs.

“The introduction of microchipping of dogs and other compulsory chipping is something I would support.

“It is very clear from discussions with my constituents that there is a real need for further powers for police and local authorities to tackle some of the problems that dangerous dogs present. I would like to see an extension of laws to cover attacks on private properties.”

He also outlined the real dangers faced by people whose work involves visiting houses that home dangerous dogs.

He said: “I was approached by postal workers about a number of dog attacks on them that have taken place recently, and these are unacceptable.”

Mr Wood’s comments come after MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee last month supported laws to extend dangerous dogs offences to attacks on private property and on assistance dogs.

The government had proposed an amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 which would make attacks on private land as serious as attacks on public land.

Under the plans, owners of “dangerously out of control” dogs could face jail sentences.

But the committee claimed that more needed to be done about dangerous dogs, and that draft laws needed to be wider-ranging.

The committee chairwoman, Anne McIntosh MP, said: “Our February Dog Control and Welfare report concluded that current laws had comprehensively failed to tackle irresponsible dog ownership.

“Eight people, including six children, have died as a result of dog attacks since 2007; annual costs to the NHS of treating dog attack injuries are around £3 million.

“There is a gaping hole in the current law making it impossible to bring criminal charges against an owner whose dog attacks someone in a private place, such as the home.

“We welcome the proposal to enable action to be taken regardless of where a dog attack happens.”