The stepfather of a teenage girl mauled to death by a pack of dogs has welcomed proposals for life jail terms for owners of killer canines, but has warned more needs to be done to prevent an "epidemic" of attacks sweeping the country.
Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne has told ITV News that owners of killer dogs could receive life sentences for failing to control their vicious pet – a significant leap from the current maximum jail term of two years.
The postman’s union has welcomed Government proposals for longer prison sentences for owners of killer dogs.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which also represents telecoms engineers, praised the Government’s consultation on the laws surrounding out-of-control dogs.
Dave Joyce, the union's health and safety officer, said: "Current sentencing arrangements do not match the serious nature of offences. Sixteen people have been killed since 2005 by dogs, yet the maximum prison sentence is just two years.
"Only one person has ever been imprisoned for a dog attack on a postal worker and as the fatality rate from dog attacks grows, sentencing must get tougher."