Why one MP wants dog licences to be brought back following the death of Jack Lis

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Dog licences must be reintroduced to prevent owners keeping dangerous pets.

That is according to the Labour MP for Caerphilly, Wayne David MP who represents the constituency where 10 year-old Jack Lis lived.

Jack was mauled to death by an American Bully or XL Bully dog called Beast while playing at a friend's house in Pentwyn, Penyrheol, Caerphilly, South Wales, on 8 November 2021.

Amy Salter, 29, and Brandon Hayden, 19, were last month jailed following the boy's death.

Mr David has said their sentences were "far too lenient", and he has now called on the Government to rethink the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

"Incredible though it may seem to many, the dog which attacked Jack Lis, an American XL Bully, is not listed as a dangerous dog.

The XL Bully dog which mauled Jack to death in November 2021.

"But I am not calling for this particular breed of dog simply to be added to the list, there are many types of dogs including crossbreeds which you could argue ought to be on the list, but there are two fundamental problems with this approach.

"One is that because there is more and more crossbreeding, it is virtually impossible to maintain any kind of legislation which contains an up-to-date list.

"Secondly, proscribing certain breeds of dogs gives the erroneous impression that only listed dogs are dangerous and does not take into account how a dog is kept and trained."

He added: "Rather than relying on breed-specific legislation which is clearly inappropriate, the Government ought to bring forward legislation which is based on a totally different approach to this issue."

Mr David went on: "A number of years ago, there were dog licences. The Government really ought to examine the possibility of reintroducing dog licences, but this time we shouldn't simply see them as an easy way of Government having an additional source of revenue.

"The money received should be used for a whole range of initiatives including tackling the behavioural problems of certain kinds of dogs which leads to dog bite incidents."

The Caerphilly MP has suggested that licensing could be an "extension" of the requirement to microchip dogs.

Mr David added: "I also believe that there needs to be an effective assessment made of potential and actual owners of dogs.

"At the moment, anyone quite literally in any circumstances can purchase virtually any kind of dog. Local authorities I believe should have a key role to play here."

In his speech to MPs, Mr David also paid tribute to Jack Lis' mother Emma, telling the Commons: "She has been enormously brave during this whole difficult time.

"Nothing can bring back Jack but all of us need to do our utmost to prevent similar tragedies in the future."

Mr David has paid tribute to Jack Lis' mother Emma for her bravery.

In response to Mr David, the Cabinet Office minister Heather Wheeler told MPs the Government is "determined to crack down on irresponsible dog ownership and promote safe interactions with dogs".

Ms Wheeler mentioned the report from Middlesex University on responsible dog ownership, which recommended the introduction of new legal requirements, including checks on previous history and demonstration of a minimum standard of dog knowledge.

Ms Wheeler said: "We will be considering this recommendation and any relevant evidence in more detail, including the merits of dog licensing.

"The responsible dog ownership steering group will also be looking at the possibility of strengthening enforcement, improving the quality and accessibility of dog training and awareness courses and developing and supporting education initiatives."


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