First, the litany of recent cases:
The child was yet another innocent victim in a terrifying glut of killings and maulings by dogs in this country.Note the breeds.
In February, a three-month-old boy, Jayden Joseph Mack, was killed by the family pet, a Staffordshire bull terrier, at his grandmother's home in Ystrad Mynach, South Wales.
A month later, three-year-old Demi Franklyn was attacked by a neighbour's Japanese Akita fighting hound as she played outside her own front door in Shipley, Yorkshire.
The creature, called Tyson, suddenly turned on Demi, breaking her jaw and leaving the little girl with horrific head wounds. Doctors said her injuries were so bad she may never smile again.
But these aren't the only recent attacks. Ellie Lawrenson, aged five, of Liverpool, died after being bitten 72 times by a pit bull terrier, while one-year-old Archie-Lee Hirst, from Wakefield, and Cadey-Lee Deacon, aged five months, of Leicester, were each savaged to death by rottweilers.
All but one were not breeds specifically named in the DDA. And you can add to that the two GSDs that killed a young man of 21, in the news today.
So why this should come as a surprise to her, I can’t say:
So, 18 years after the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs' Act which was meant to end such atrocities, how have these bloodthirsty creatures become such a nightmarish part of modern Britain?Because the DDA was appallingly poorly drawn up legislation that concentrated on four breeds deemed ‘dangerous’, despite the fact that:
All dogs over a certain size are potentially ‘dangerous’, and
Three of the named breeds were probably less likely to be seen in the UK than the Surrey Panther.
While pit bulls were banned by the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, in practice they have far from disappeared. And, in any case, Staffordshire bull terriers, bull mastiffs, Rottweilers and other equally intimidating breeds can be bought with ease, as I shall explain later.Well, quite.
So, a little pointless arguing that the DDA should have had an effect when even a ‘Daily Fail’ journalist can see the flaws in it.
But it's when we look at the Tory-controlled councils and their methods of dealing with the problem that we see why the Tories aren't worth anyone's vote:
Leading the fightback is the London borough of Wandsworth, which has become the first council to introduce compulsory dog micro-chipping on its council estates.Wow, and I always thought it was poor socialisation and bad treatment that created a potentially dangerous dog! Who knew it was the mere presence of a council rent book?
Those who don't register for the scheme are potentially in breach of their tenancy conditions and could lose their property.
And of course, cruel, dog-fight-loving scum never own their own houses, do they?
That’ll come as news to animal experts and chav-watchers alike…
In a further crackdown, the Conservative-run Wandsworth has vowed to evict any council tenant who fails to keep their dog under control. It is also liaising with other local authorities to lobby the Government to reintroduce a compulsory licence system for dog owners.Genius! What could go wrong?
Unlike the old licence (which cost £10 from the Post Office and was abandoned in 1987), it would have very real 'teeth'. Ideally, Wandsworth would like the cost of the licence to be £500, and the minimum age for dog ownership to be 20.
Sorry, Aunt Gladys, you’ll have to decide between heating your home this winter or keeping your elderly, arthritic Peke.
Sorry, Uncle John, it’s the twelve-year-old rescue Labrador you got to keep your two kids company and give a home to, or your car; which can you afford to keep?
Sorry, Dogs Protection League/Battersea Dogs Home, better put all those strays down now; the only people that can afford them probably won’t want them in anything like the right numbers.
It looks like Kit Malthouse isn’t the only Tory cretin with no clue when it comes to dogs:
'The problem is that just about anyone can own a dog,' council leader Edward Lister explained. 'That's got to change. Most of the problems we have today are caused by young people who keep these menacing dogs. The case for restoring the dog licence is overwhelming.'Oh, well done, Edward!
That's ensuring that the votes of all the animal lovers aren't going to go to a party represented by a cretin who wants to price dog ownership out of the average family.
God forbid any political party should try to target the ones actually causing the trouble, when it's so much easier to slap a blanket policy over everything and sit back as it is administered by the sort of cretins who caused this nightmare situation for one owner...
I think what we need is a Dangerous Politician Act.