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Ministers under pressure to overhaul Dangerous Dogs Act to avoid further tragic attacks


Daniel John Twigg, 3, died after being attacked by a dog at home. His death from him prompted fresh calls to update the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act. Labor MP Rosie Duffield said too many kids have already died

Labor MP Rosie Duffield said the Government should do something as too many children have already died

Demands are mounting for ministers to overhaul the Dangerous Dogs Act following the death of yet another child.

Three-year-old Daniel John Twigg was mauled at home on Sunday afternoon and died a short time later.

His death has prompted fresh calls to update the 1991 Act and the Mirror is campaigning for cross breeds to be added to the list of banned animals.

Labor MP Rosie Duffield, vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group, urged: “Too many children have died already. We can’t go on like this.”

A 48-year-old man was arrested under the Act after the most recent tragedy in Milnrow, Rochdale, Greater Manchester. And today we published heartbreaking pictures of 10 children, aged from 12 days old to 10 years, who were mauled to death.

Daniel John Twigg died after being attacked by a dog

Ministers will debate overhauling the Dangerous Dogs Act


Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley)

Rochdale MP Sir Tony Lloyd campaigned for tougher laws on dangerous dogs when he was Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner from 2012 to 2017.

He said: “It’s bewildering when we see a young life lost in a dog attack that should simply never have happened. We do need tougher penalties for letting threatening dogs roam and we’ve got to make sure owners know they are liable.”

He pledged to lobby ministers on a change in law. He said: “We need to be looked at as to whether the list of dangerous breeds is up to date.”

The Mirror is campaigning for cross breeds to be added to the list of banned animals


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Ms Duffield added: “This legislation is more than 30 years old. The fact so many children have been killed in the past few years shows it isn’t working.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published a study with Middlesex University to “look at responsible ownership across all breeds” last December.

Defra said it is working with police, local authorities, and stakeholders to “consider the recommendations”.

danger dog debate

Parliament will debate overhauling the Dangerous Dogs Act to strip out references to four named breeds next month.

Some 108,453 signed a petition to challenge the 1993 legislation that bans the keeping of the pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino and fila Brasileiro.

Campaigners say the law is unfair as other breeds can be dangerous and a dog’s behavior depends on its owner and how it is treated.

Our demands:

1 Update the Dangerous Dogs Act. At the moment only four breeds of dog are banned – Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Pit Bull Terrier and the Japanese Tosa. This list should be expanded to make it illegal to own, breed or sell other dangerous types of dogs.

two Bring in a new law requiring owners to register certain breeds of dogs which could be potentially dangerous. Similar laws exist in France and Austria.

3 Anyone wanting to own a potentially dangerous breed of dog should be made to attend a training course and the dog should be assessed for its behaviour.

The petition says a study by Middlesex University “has now cast doubt on one of the core assumptions of the Dangerous Dogs Act – that certain breeds of dogs are inherently more dangerous”.

In its response, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “Simply repealing the breed-specific provisions in dangerous dog legislation with no other changes would increase the risks to public safety, which the Government is unwilling to do.”

The debate will be on June 6.

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