SINCE 2014, dog owners are criminally liable if their pet attacks someone invited into their house.
While I was sitting on the Defra committee, we successfully campaigned for this change in the law following an horrific attack on a young girl in Portesham.
She and her mother had been invited into a neighbour’s house when the West Highland terrier latched onto the two-year-old’s eye.
Regrettably, dog attacks are not uncommon, with the BBC reporting the number has almost doubled to 8,800 in the last 20 years.
Only this week, we heard of another incident, where an 11-year-old girl was mauled in the street in Birmingham.
Only the courage of bystanders saved the child’s life, with several of them badly bitten for their pains.
The dog, identified as an American XL Bully, was finally beaten off with an iron bar and a spade.
An horrific video of the incident has led to calls for the breed to be added to those already banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act, 1991.
The American XL Bully, which weighs up to nine stone, is already held responsible for 10 human deaths - three of them children - since 2021.
This year alone, ‘Bully Watch’ has documented 351 attacks by large Bully breeds.
These range from bites, to pets being killed, to a Welsh hill farmer who shot two XL Bullies after they savaged 22 of his sheep last month.
Apologists for these dogs argue that no one type of dog is more dangerous than another, though, finally, advice on a ban was commissioned by the Home Office last week.
However, it’s easier said than done.
Cross bred from other fighting dogs, they are difficult to define without onerous DNA tests.
What baffles me is why people have these dogs in the first place.