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Commenting on the Dangerous Dogs Consultation, Anne Longfield OBE, Chief Executive of 4Children said:
At 4Children, we believe that well-trained and friendly dogs can be a wonderful influence on the lives of children, particularly as family pets. But at the other end of the scale, an untrained and unsocialised dog can be a dangerous menace that can scar a child - physically or psychologically or both - for life. That is not the fault of the dog, it is the fault of an irresponsible or malicious owner.
Although a distinction must be made between attacks in self- defence or against intruders, the number of violent attacks clearly indicates a need for a restructuring of current laws as the Defra consultation proposes.
However, we do not believe that the consultation fully recognises the threat dangerous dogs pose to vulnerable people and children. Consequently, we propose that government introduce more stringent guidance for local authorities and providers of services for dangerous dogs. This might include a 24 hour dangerous dog service, improved training for those that interact with dangerous dogs, and that local residents and business owners are kept well informed of the legal position relating to dangerous dogs.
Community safety should be a top priority for any government, but as the number of dog attacks continue to rise, there are definite signs of national and local government failing to do enough. Whilst there are points yet to be addressed in the consultation, it is at least a vital step toward ensuring that children, and families are kept safe in their communities and their own homes.”
The full consultation can be viewed here
Notes to Editors
For further information please contact William Staynes at William.firstname.lastname@example.org (0207 522 6919 or 07833098911) or Ilana Rapaport via Ilana.email@example.com or via 020 7522 6928 or 07917870641
4Children is the national charity all about children and families. We have spearheaded a joined-up, integrated approach to children’s services and work with a wide range of partners around the country to ensure children and families have access to the services and support they need in their communities. We run Sure Start Children’s Centres as well as family and youth services across Britain.
We develop, influence and shape national policy on all aspects of the lives of children, young people and families. As the Government’s strategic partner for early years and childcare we have a crucial role in co-producing policy with the Department of Education and representing the sector’s views and experiences. Our national campaigns, like Give Me Strength, change policy and practice and put the needs of children and families on the political and policy agenda.
For more information visit www.4children.org.uk