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Call for law change over dogs

Monday February 24th 2014

A committee of MPs has called on the Government to introduce laws which would punish owners who fail to control their animals.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee says that dog owners who fail to control their pets should be made to train them or risk having them taken away.

The committee thinks that the current laws need addressing to prevent more attacks on children and vulnerable adults, who, at the moment are being put at risk. Dogs that are not under control or ill-trained can maul humans, causing severe injury or worse.

Additionally, the committee, which has attracted support from campaigners for their stance, want a programme of microchipping dogs to be brought forward. The current plan would see owners being made by law to microchip their dogs by 2016.

Dog control orders should be brought into force, allowing members of the public to report badly behaved dogs and owners. The orders would require both dog and owner to attend training, or stipulate that certain dogs be muzzled and put on a lead in public places.

Labour committee member Jim Fitzpatrick said: "Existing breed specific legislation is flawed. It's not about breeds. Any dog can be vicious if not treated well or trained properly and if the owners don't understand the responsibility."

Copyright Press Association 2014

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