Hyndburn’s MP has called for law changes after admitting his shock at figures uncovered by the Observer exposing the extent of the borough’s dangerous dogs problem.
The figures, revealed by our Freedom of Information Act request, show that dozens of dangerous dogs have been put to sleep and hundreds more kennelled across the borough in the past two years.
MP Graham Jones has vowed to raise the issue with animal welfare minister Lord de Mauley and DEFRA to initiate legislation that will reduce the number of dangerous dogs.
Hyndburn council said that in 2013 and 2014, a total of 525 dogs were kennelled and 80 had to be destroyed across the borough.
The council also received 162 complaints about dangerous dogs during the two-year period.
Mr Jones said: “These are shocking figures. Not enough information is given to people so that they can make a responsible decision.
“Such pets have affection, develop relationships and understand torment and mistreatment.
“I may offend the ‘doggy’ version of the National Rifle Association but if these figures persist and this level of cruelty is not reduced to a fraction of what it is now, then I expect a responsible government to make enabling legislation.”
Mr Jones said new legislation should introduce “necessary measures” and “stricter controls” in order to bring down the number of dangerous dogs.
He added: “I think we all have a duty to act collectively to protect animal welfare and that starts with potential dog owners and reckless dog breeders.”
The FOI request also revealed that, across Hyndburn, the most common type of dog reported and most common breed put to sleep was Pit Bull-type dogs, many of which have been cross-bred.
Coun Paul Cox, Hyndburn council’s cabinet member for environmental health, said: “We take a proactive approach in relation to dangerous dogs in the borough and work closely with the police and kennelling services to identify and deal with them appropriately.”