§ 25. Mr. Eric Fletcher
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will introduce legislation amending the Dogs Act to secure the destruction of dangerous dogs after a magistrate has made an order for such dogs to be destroyed.
§ Mr. Ede
Under an Act applying to the Metropolis there is already power for a magistrate to direct that a dog which has bitten or attempted to bite any person within the Metropolis should be destroyed and for the police to carry out the order of the court. I cannot hold out any prospect of its being possible to introduce in the near future legislation to enable the general law to be amended for the purpose suggested by my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. Fletcher
Is my right hon. Friend aware that in my constituency there is a particularly vicious dog which a magistrate has ordered to be destroyed, and that as a result of failure to comply with that order the owner has twice suffered a sentence of imprisonment? The police allege that they have no power to carry out the order, and unless something is done, when the owner comes out of prison in a few weeks' time the dog will again be restored to him.
§ Sir J. Lucas
While agreeing with the Question, may I have an assurance that the right of appeal will be safeguarded, because some magistrates do not like or understand dogs?
§ Lieut.-Commander Braithwaite
Do police dogs enjoy a special dispensation in this matter? Is it still the case that other dogs are allowed two bites before being defined as dangerous?
§ Mr. Keeling
Will the Home Secretary confirm the fact that dogs have often appealed successfully against an order for their destruction?