The chairwoman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has warned that the Government needs to strengthen laws on down ownership. Anne McIntosh said:
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; and some eight assistance dogs and hundreds of livestock are attacked each month.
The draft Bill's proposals are welcome, but are limited in scope and far short of providing a comprehensive and effective regime for tackling the increasing problem of out-of-control dogs.
Strong measures to prevent dog attacks are conspicuously absent - in particular targeted Dog Control Notices. The Government must bring together the disparate dog control and breeding legislation into a single, comprehensive Act.