Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

MP: Northern Ireland dog attack laws better than England's

Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew
Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew

Former Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew has claimed that Northern Ireland has better legislation to protect the public from dog attacks than England.

The Sinn Fein MP was speaking after reports on the death of an 11-month-old baby girl in Blackburn, Lancashire yesterday, who was mauled by the family's "pit bull type" dog.

Ms Gildernew introduced legislation here in 2011 which she said better protects children from this type of attack

The MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone revealed that the Dogs Trust recently lobbied her to raise the matter of Northern Ireland's legislation, the Welfare of Animals Act 2011, with Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.

She added: "As Minister for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, I brought through legislation to protect our children from this type of attack.

"This work was aided by dog wardens from across the North, who were invaluable in advising how new legislation should work and be implemented.

"Our dog wardens have the necessary tools to sanction dogs and their owners if their behaviour gives cause for concern."

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