Caerphilly MP says dangerous dogs legislation is 'not fit for purpose'

Caerphilly MP Wayne David says that there are "inherent weaknesses" in legislation relating to dangerous dogs. Credit: PA

A Welsh MP is calling for urgent action to reform legislation surrounding dangerous dogs.

Wayne David, MP for Caerphilly, says that urgent action is required to reform the Dangerous Dogs Act.

It comes as police are investigating the "horrific" death of 10-year-old Jack Lis.

He died on Monday (November 8) following a dog attack in Pentwyn, Penyrheol. The dog was destroyed by firearms officers and investigations are currently ongoing.

"The work to identify the breed of dog involved this attack continues", said Chief Superintendent Mark Hobrough.

"Once this is completed, we will be able to establish if the breed features on the list of illegal dogs to own in this country and any other criminal offences identified will be investigated fully by officers."

Gwent Police were first called to a property in Pentwyn, Penyrheol, at 3.55pm on Monday (November 8).

Mr David told ITV Wales: "I think it’s important to realise that a number of people, 10 in fact, over the last 20 years have lost their lives because of attacks by dogs which are clearly dangerous and many thousands of people have actually been injured.

"That indicates to me that the legislation which we have in place is not fit for purpose."

Calling for change, he added: "It’s difficult to say whether situations could have been avoided but clearly the case in my view is that there are inherent weaknesses in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

"There’s been plenty of criticisms of it, plenty of different views expressed, but what we haven’t done is manage to find a consensus on how the legislation needs to be reformed and made more effective. That urgently does need to happen."

With the rise in dog purchases during the pandemic, the Labour MP for Caerphilly has said: "It’s all too easy to buy dangerous dogs and these dogs are not pets and we really have to have a mechanism in place to make sure dangerous dogs are not kept in this way and a danger to the wider, general public.

"We need to debate how we do it, but that should be the goal."

Tributes have been paid to Jack Lis by many across the local community. Mr David, like many others, extended his condolences to the family and the local community for their range of different support.

A 28-year-old woman from the Caerphilly area was arrested on suspicion of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury resulting in death. She was later released on conditional bail.

Two men – a 34-year-old from the Mountain Ash area and a 19-year-old from the Caerphilly area – attended voluntarily in relation to an offence of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury resulting in death. Both were later released.