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Liverpool action plan would combat danger dogs

by Lauren Oldland. Published Tue 05 Jan 2010 11:11
John Paul Massey
John Paul Massey

Liverpool could get a raft of measures to control dangerous dogs following the death of four-year-old John Paul Massey.

Under the scheme owners of "Status Dogs" would be forced to keep them muzzled in public and every dog would be eligible for a free identity microchip.

Worried councillors have drawn-up a 10-point action plan following the death John Paul Massey who killed by a banned American Pitbull terrier on 30th November.

A motion outlining the crack-down on dangerous dogs has been tabled by four Lib/Dem councillors Laurence Sidorczuk, Andrew Makinson, Ian Jobling and Colin Eldridge of Church Ward.

It says a Dog Control Order should be imposed across Liverpool under Sections 55-67 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (2005).

It also calls for action under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1997, to eradicate banned dogs from the city.

John Paul was savaged by his uncle's American Pitbull, named "Uno", in the early hours of 30th November the home of his grandmother Helen Foulkes in Ash Grove, Wavertree.

Lib/Dem Councillor Laurence Sidorczuk said: "The Foulkes family are fully supportive of the scheme and have given us their blessing.

"It's been such a heart-wrenching experience that's broken the family.

"Something positive has to come out of such a tragedy and we believe that local authorities need to be pro-active on this issue.

"These measures would go a long way to making people feel safer and to reduced the danger from dogs in the community."

Under the new proposals police, dog wardens and Police Community Safety Officers would all have powers to penalise offenders for:-

* Failing to remove dog faeces;
* Not keeping a dog on a lead;
* Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer;
* Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded;
* The use of unlicensed residential premises for breeding of dangerous dogs.

The proposals also call for:-

* A general amnesty for dogs considered to be dangerous, whether they are banned or not, to be administered by Merseyside Police;
* All 'status' dogs be both muzzled and on a lead in a public place;
* A free microchipping service for dogs of any breed to be funded through the Working Neighbourhoods Fund;
* Additional powers for PSCO's to support the work of the Dog Warden Service;
* Consideration of the feasibility of an online dog registration scheme with details such as photograph, name, breed, veterinary history, ownership and contact details.

The four breeds of dogs outlawed by the 1997 Dangerous Dogs Act are the Pitbull Terrier, Dogo Argentine, Fila Brazilliero and Japanese Tosa.

According to Cllr Sidorczuk 'Status dogs' would be defined as aggressive dogs paraded on the streets in order to give the owners the appearance of authority.

The motion has been tabled to Liverpool City Council's Safer Communities Select Committee.


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