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Prime Minister's Questions - 24th October 2018:

An MP has pressed The Prime Minister to change dangerous dogs laws.

Raising the issue at Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Marsden MP highlighted a recent report by the Commons Environment Committee, which called for an overhaul of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act and its specific breed definition.

Mr Marsden said:

"Last week the EFRA Select Committee said the Dangerous Dogs Act with it's specific breeds definition was "not fit for purpose".

Hundreds of pitbull type dogs have been confiscated yearly and destroyed - but this has had no impact on the dog bite numbers."

At PMQs today Mr Marsden asked the Prime Minister to ask the DEFRA Secretary Michael Gove MP to act urgently on the committee's recommendations and not take the approach of a Minister in the Lords who told them even a good dog had to be put down as "collateral damage".

DDAWMr Marsden referred to previous comments made by Environment Minister Lord Gardiner, when he appeared before the EFRA committee about the case of a pit-bull type dog which had to be put down by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home asked whether he regarded the death of the dog, even though he may have been "good-tempered", as just "collateral damage", the minister replied yes.

Mr Marsden MP told the Prime Minister this was unacceptable and the specific breed definition needed to be reformed as a matter of urgency. "Hundreds of pitbull-type dogs are confiscated yearly with no impact on dog-bite numbers," he said.

Gordon Marsden MP said pit bull-type dogs were routinely put down due to a law which designates them as a prohibited breed and judges them on physical attributes, not behaviour.

He said the thought of the rescue dog he owned being destroyed "because her face did not fit in court is chilling".

Theresa May was sympathetic to Mr Marsden highlighting the issue, which she said she had not been fully aware of, and pledged a review.

She said: "I had not looked at the detail of the report on that particular issue but I can assure him that the Environment Secretary is himself a keen dog owner, as indeed is the Chancellor, and he will be looking at this issue very carefully.

Watch online here- Parliament TV


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