- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
On 28 March 2023 I met with Emma Whitfield, the mother of ten-year-old Jack Lis who was fatally attacked by a dog in Caerphilly in November 2021 (pictured). Emma lives in Wayne David MP’s constituency. The Dog Control Coalition held a drop-in event in Parliament. It was attended by the RSPCA, the Dogs Trust and other dog behaviourist organisations.
In 1991, the Government passed the Dangerous Dogs Act in response to a number of high-profile dog attacks on children. Section 1 introduced the approach known as Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) prohibiting the possession, ownership, breeding, sale, exchange or transfer, advertising, or gifting of four types of dogs, identified by their appearance: Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Fila Braziliero and Dogo Argentino. The aim of the Act was to reduce the number of these dogs and, in turn, improve human safety by reducing dog bites. However, over thirty years later it has failed to deliver on these aims.
Emma hopes to build raise awareness and cross-party consensus on the introduction of more appropriate and effective dog legislation. The legal framework for dealing with dog bite incidents is currently complex with a variety of laws available depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident. The Dog Control Coalition believes reform and consolidation of dog control legislation is long overdue and that BSL needs to be repealed and replaced with breed neutral legislation.
Further information on the Breed Specific Legislation campaign can be found here: End Breed Specific Legislation | BSL Dogs | RSPCA