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Council urged to call for further action on dangerous dogs


Nov 19, 2023

Liverpool Council is being urged to press for further legislation amid an increase in attacks by dangerous dogs.

From February next year, it will become a criminal offence to own an XL Bully after the government added the breed to the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act. As of December 31, it will be illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon or allow XL bully dogs to stray in England and Wales.

Following recent attacks involving XL Bully dogs and other breeds, the city council has been urged in a new motion to call for further action to improve welfare and responsible ownership.

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Cllr Peter Norris has laid down a motion, to be debated by all members when they meet at Liverpool Town Hall next week, calling on the council to support “concerns raised at the increasing number of dog attacks and is alarmed that 15 people have been killed because of a dog attack since the start of 2022 and more have been seriously injured.” Merseyside has recorded a large number of attacks involving dangerous dogs but owners in a protest earlier this year said they were “distraught” at the ban. Reading, Basingstoke, Berkshire

Cllr Norris’s motion said: “This council fully supports the promotion of responsible dog ownership and the prevention of all attacks and intimidation, including using education, information and enforcement action. Council further notes that in November 2022, Liverpool City Council issued Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) for eight cemeteries, two public parks or open spaces and 62 children’s play areas or football pitches.”

Anyone wishing to keep their XL bully must apply for an exemption or they can choose to have their dog euthanised and apply for compensation. Applications opened earlier this week for owners to register their dogs before the breed is made illegal officially next year.

The motion, to be heard next week, branded the Dangerous Dogs Act “woefully ineffective” and an approach based on breed specific legislation had failed. Cllr Norris’ document hoped the council would promote protection of dogs’ health, ensuring they are under control, “not a threat or nuisance” and “respectful dog owners so communities welcome them and their dog.”

The Festival Gardens member also called on Liverpool Council to continue its work with Merseyside Police in developing responsible ownership initiatives including “the dog behaviour contract.” It added a final call to engage with the city’s parliamentarians.

It said: “The council further resolves to write to all Liverpool MPs asking that they note this motion and for them to call on the Government to introduce new legislation covering all aspects of the control of dangerous dogs to protect the public, promote responsible dog ownership, and improve animal welfare.”

The motion will be heard at Liverpool Town Hall when the full council meets on Wednesday November 22.

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