In the wake of yet another tragedy involving the death of a child following an attack by a dog, Jacky Crawford Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for the Brigg and Goole constituency today emphasised the need to reintroduce dog licensing to the UK. The requirement for dog owners to have a licence was abolished in 1987.
A six month old baby from Daventry, West Midlands died last Friday night. The breed of the dog involved is as yet unknown.
“We can only imagine the heartache that this family are experiencing and our thoughts are with them,” said Ms Crawford.
“We cannot stand idly by and allow this issue of dog attacks to be put on the back burner. Last year 20,000 people were attacked by dogs at a cost to the NHS of an estimated £3.3 million. Dog attack related hospital admissions have been on the rise for the past five years and in recent times we have seen the deaths of children such as four year old Lexi Branson and Jade Anderson who was fourteen.”
The animal charity OneKind has called for the reintroduction of the dog license a move that Ms Crawford wholeheartedly supports.
The scheme would be free and would require the dog to be micro chipped and supervised when in public, something that the vast majority of responsible dog owners do already. A poll conducted by the RSPCA showed that nearly two thirds of dog owners support such a policy.
“As a nation we love our dogs and the overwhelming majority of people are responsible and considerate dog owners. Compulsory registration via a licence would enable the authorities to readily identify and deal with irresponsible owners as well as offering support for those struggling to control their animals. Responsible owners would see no difference to what they already do.
“We have a responsibility to do everything in our power to prevent attacks on our children by tackling the issue at its source. If every dog is registered and people understand what they are taking on they may think twice about whether dog ownership is for them,” concluded Ms Crawford.