The mother of a 10-year-old boy killed by a US XL bully dog is calling for a change in the law to protect the public from out-of-control pets.
Emma Whitfield, 32, was attacked and killed by her son Jack Liss in Pentwyn, near Cardiff, South Wales, in November 2021, and has since killed more than 15 people in the UK. and wounds inflicted by untrained dogs. ,
Earlier this month, Jonathan Hogg, 37, was mauled to death by an animal of the same breed in Leigh, Greater Manchester.
The dog was destroyed in a police investigation into Hogg’s death, as well as two arrests and the seizure of 15 more, six of whom were adults and nine were puppies.
Detective Chief Inspector John Davies, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “Dangerous dogs have no place in our communities, and we want to reassure the public that we are doing everything in our power to keep people safe.
“If you think anyone has or is breeding dogs that pose a danger to the public, please report this online or by calling 101.”
Recalling her own ordeal, Ms. Whitfield Said Metro: “I still have terrifying flashbacks. I still see the animal and its teeth. I hear barking,”
“You re-live it several times a day – it’s torture. I still find it unbelievable. Sitting on the sofa or on the way home, it hits you all over again.
Ms Whitfield’s campaign, Jack Liss Law, is calling for new legislation to regulate the breeding, training and sale of dogs and is being supported by the Dog Control Coalition, which includes the RSPCA, the Dogs Trust and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, among others. ,
Existence Dangerous Dog Act 1991 Prohibits ownership of certain types of fighting dogs in the interest of public safety, but has been widely criticized as unsatisfactory since its implementation.
Introduced by the then Home Secretary Kenneth Baker in 1991 after 11 fatal dog attacks hit the headlines, section 1 of the Act outlawed certain dogs bred for fighting (the pitbull terrier, the Japanese tosa, the Fila Brasileiro and the Dogo Argentino). naming but, importantly) , not American Bulldog). Section 2 makes it a criminal offense for an owner to fail to control an aggressive dog in their care in public and Section 3 outlines the rules around destruction orders.
The law has been criticized for only addressing physical harm to humans, and not other animals or the mental distress caused by dog attacks.
Organizations such as the UK Kennel Club, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the British Veterinary Association have argued that labeling an entire breed as dangerous is not scientific and that ownership and environment play a large role in the dog’s development. ,
the former states on their website: “The law on dangerous dogs refers to specific breeds of dogs as ‘dangerous’. However, we believe that breed-specific legislation ignores the most important factors that contribute to bite incidents – primarily From antisocial behavior by irresponsible dog owners who train their dogs to be aggressive or do not train their dogs adequately.
“The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 has proven that the display of certain breeds makes them more attractive to people who want to break the law and thus use the dogs.
“The problem of dangerous dogs is a societal one and needs to be tackled through effective law enforcement that seeks to curb irresponsible owners of all types of dogs and better equip dog-owners to prevent incidents before they happen.” educates.”
American Bullies – an American version of pitbull terriers crossed with American, English and Old English Bulldogs – were not included in the act in that they were barely known at the time of its drafting, a popular “status” dog since the 1980s. emerging as. “Dogs, their sudden outbursts of aggression are prized in certain quarters.
“I see people with them all the time: they’re usually owned by young men,” said expert handler Colin Tennant recently. Said many times,
“These big, muscular, lethargic dogs are an extension of the male ego. For the owner, the scarier the dog, the better. Dogs are just another weapon – like a knife. There’s a huge market for them.
For many people, it is the culture surrounding the ownership of aggressive dogs such as American Bullies that needs to be addressed, not the animals themselves, which need only proper socialization and training as puppies to prevent their aggressive tendencies from becoming a problem in adolescence. training as required.