Friday 13th April 2012
The parents of a four-year-old boy who was mauled to death by a pit bull have made a personal appeal to the Prime Minister to take action on dangerous dogs.
Angela McGlynn and John Massey hand delivered a letter to Downing Street asking David Cameron to strengthen the Dangerous Dogs Act. Their son John Paul Massey was killed by his uncle's pit bull terrier in Liverpool in 2009.
The letter calls on the Prime Minister to give "urgent and immediate attention to the ongoing issue of dangerous dogs and dog control in England, on behalf of the children and adults who have lost their lives and the thousands of people who sustain injuries, often serious, as well as the animals who are attacked and killed every year".
The family is working with animal charities to highlight why action needs to be taken. They are calling for the act to look at the behaviour of a dog not just banning specific breeds.
The letter has been signed by Blue Cross, Battersea Dogs And Cats Home, Police Federation Of England And Wales, Communication Workers Union (CWU), the National Dog Wardens Association and the RSPCA.
Steve Goody, director of external affairs at Blue Cross, said: "The current Dangerous Dogs Act is totally inadequate. We need new legislation with tougher measures covering out-of-control dogs wherever they are and whatever the breed, allowing authorities to step in before attacks happen."
Since John Paul's death there have been more dog attacks on children, with three in the past two weeks.
Five-year-old Abbie Varrow was attacked by a German shepherd in Essex on March 27 and a girl, 12, was attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier in Gloucestershire on April 8. Five-year-old Haley Turner was left scarred for life after being bitten by a Jack Russell terrier in West Yorkshire on April 5.
The current Dangerous Dogs Act bans four breeds, the pit bull terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasileiro.