'Dangerous Dogs Act flawed' warns Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

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By Katie Oakes: ITV London Reporter

Too many innocent dogs are being put down and not enough is being done to stop dog attacks, according to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

The animal shelter is calling on the Government to review the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, saying the current legislation is flawed.

Twenty five years after the law was introduced, Battersea believes the legislation should target irresponsible owners instead of specific breeds.

The law bans the pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, doga argentino and filo braziliero breeds based on their appearance.

Since the law was introduced, there have been 30 dog-attack fatalities - involving 16 children and 14 adults.

The charity surveyed 215 canine behaviour experts on the factors most likely causes of a dog attack.

The report: What's Breed Got To Do With It? reveals:

  • 74% said breed was irrelevant or only slightly important in determining aggression levels

  • 86% said the way a dog is brought up is an important attack factor

  • The size of a dog is only important in the outcome of an attack as 'small dogs are just as likely to attack as larger dogs' but larger dogs 'can inflict greater damage'.

Last year, the charity took in 91 pit bull terriers, which they say confirms the animals are still being bred and sold.

Of those, they say 71% could have been rehomed, but under law were forced to put them down.