Dangerous dogs: time for a change in the law?
Mar 5 2010 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
THE horrific dog attack on a young Lockwood mother has thrown the spotlight once more on dangerous dogs.
The attack on Waheed Akhtar, 26, who suffered terrible facial injuries, was the latest in a frightening spate of such incidents.
Three horrific dog attacks have taken place in Huddersfield over the last six months.
All were carried out by large, powerful dogs, which were out of control in public.
The latest victim, Waheed Akhtar, a mother-of-two from Lockwood, had her cheek ripped off by a pit bull. She will never look the same again.
Mrs Akhtar is undergoing treatment in a specialist plastic surgery unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary.
The dog was still at large yesterday.
Three-year-old Kaden Shaw-Britton had his arm broken by a Rottweiler in January and August last year, 13-year-old Damon Sykes and a police officer were hospitalised by an Akita, a large Japanese hunting dog.
But it isn’t just humans who have suffered at the jaws of an out-of-control dog.
Holmfirth farmer, Bruce Roberts, lost five of his sheep to dog attacks earlier this winter. He believes two Akitas are to blame.
The Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced in 1991 in the wake of a series of pit bull attacks.
It banned four ‘fighting’ breeds: the pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.
Anyone breaching the act, which includes the breeding or sale of such a dog, can be jailed for up to six months or fined up to £5,000.
But the Act has come under fire from many quarters including the RSPCA and dog lovers.
The RSPCA has said the Act is too vague and has led to an increase in dangerous dogs.
NHS figures show the number of dog attacks tripled between 1991 and 2008.
And what constitutes a dangerous dog has become a bone of contention.