HC Deb 25 November 1993 vol 233 c171W
Mr. Hardy

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring forward proposals to amend the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to enable owners of relevant breeds to remove their dogs' muzzles to allow them to drink or to receive veterinary attention in a public place, especially if this is within a private motor vehicle.

Mr. Charles Wardle

The Government do not intend to weaken protection afforded by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Recent tragic events have shown how wrong this would be.

Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many fatalities there have been due to dog attacks since Royal Assent was given to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991; if he will name the breed of each dog involved; and whether it was registered under the Act;

(2) if he will make a statement on the future of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 following the recent death in Cleveland.

Mr. Charles Wardle

The tragic events in Cleveland underline the need for the strict provisions in the Dangerous Dogs Act, and how right the Government have been not to heed those who have sought to weaken it.

I understand that the dog involved in the Cleveland attack was identified by a veterinary surgeon as being a pit bull terrier type, with some mastiff or bull mastiff qualities. It has not been registered under the Act.

In other words, it fell within the Act's definition of a dog of the type known as a pit bull terrier.

I am aware of one other fatal injury caused by dogs since the coming into force of the Dangerous Dogs Act on 12 August 1991. This occurred in November 1991, and involved an attack on a boy by his family's pets, a Lakeland terrier, a great dane and a German shepherd, none of which are required to be registered under the Act.