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MP calls for quick action over dangerous dogs legislation
A HAMPSHIRE MP has welcomed a new crackdown on dangerous dogs – but said she was frustrated another public consultation would delay much-needed legislation.
The long-awaited announcement includes plans for compulsory microchipping of new dogs.
A loophole in the law will be closed so that dog owners will face prosecution if their pet attacks someone who is lawfully on their property.
Last year Caroline Nokes, Tory MP for Romsey and Southampton North, organised a Parliamentary debate in which she said menacing dogs were replacing guns and knives as the “weapon of choice” for violent youths and urged ministers to beef up the law.
She said she received complaints about dangerous dogs every week from constituents. Responding to yesterday’s announcement, she said: “I welcome the proposal for compulsory microch i p - ping, and understand the reasons for it being puppies first.
But the last consultation ended in March 2010 – here we are proposing a further consultation that is certainly going to delay legislation. I don’t think that’s going to be much comfort to these constituents of mine.”
There was no action from the Government on so-called dog control notices, which campaigners say are needed to ensure dangerous animals are kept on a lead or muzzled in public.
There has been a string of highprofile dog attacks in recent years in Hampshire. In January the owner of a giant Japanese Akita crossbreed dog called Samson appeared in court following a series of savage attacks in Southampton, including one on a fouryear- old boy.
As reported in the Daily Echo, a judge warned that a destruction order could not be ruled out after Paul Ward admitted two counts of owning a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in a public place.
However, Samson’s fate has been put on hold because a sentencing date has yet to be arranged for Ward, 50, of Laundry Road, Shirley Warren.