Calls for stronger Welsh legislation on dangerous dogs

Cardiff North AM Julie Morgan has called for special legislation in Wales to control dangerous dogs at a fringe event at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton.

Speaking at the ‘Caring 4 K9s’ event which she organised jointly with Cardiff Councillor Dilwar Ali, Ms Morgan said: “The current law on Antisocial Behaviour includes powers covering dangerous dogs but I believe this one-size-fits-all approach does not go far enough.

“This legislation does not allow for Dog Control Notices which could be used to take action against problem dogs and owners before a serious incident occurs.”

Ms Morgan and Cardiff Councillor Dilwar Ali have been campaigning for stronger laws on responsible dog ownership and separate Welsh dog control legislation since Mr Ali’s son was scarred for life when he was tragically attacked in 2011 by a dog in his garden at home in Cardiff when he was just six years old.

The event was well attended by Welsh politicians and others and attracted more than 40 delegates including Welsh Government Environment Minister Carl Sargeant, Cardiff Central AM Jenny Rathbone, representatives of the RSPCA and Dogs Trust and Dave Joyce of the Communication Workers Union, who has led the ‘Bite-Back’ campaign.

Ms Morgan said: “We decided to highlight the issue of dangerous dogs and dog attacks at conference because we believe that now is the time to press for legislation here in Wales again after proposals for a Control of Dogs (Wales) bill were dropped in 2013.

“The consensus at the meeting was clear. The call goes out for dog control notices for Wales,” added Ms Morgan.

The Welsh Government has asked RSPCA Cymru to conduct a review with the aim of raising awareness of dog ownership responsibilities, particularly aimed at areas with higher numbers of dog attacks.