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Dogs girl parents urge tighter laws

The parents of a teenage girl mauled to death by a pack of dogs have urged the Government to tighten the laws around dangerous animal ownership.

Shirley and Michael Anderson, the mother and stepfather of 14-year-old Jade Lomas Anderson, who died after being attacked in March, said the Government's Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill should be toughened "to prevent what we are going through from happening to other people".

After meeting Defra minister Lord de Mauley in Westminster, they were "never going to be able to cope" with what happened - but vowed to keep campaigning for law changes in her memory.

Mrs Anderson, 36, said: "It's hard isn't it, it's hard for us and hard for the kids. (We will) focus on this and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Mr Anderson, 34, added: "She would want us to help other people, that is what she was like."

Jade was alone at a friend's home in Chaucer Grove, Atherton, near Wigan in Greater Manchester, on March 26 when she was attacked by four dogs - believed to be two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said at the time they could not prove a crime had been committed so were unlikely to make a prosecution, although he added that one may be brought in the future.

The dogs involved in the attack, which happened on private property, were not illegal breeds.

Describing the talks as "positive", the Andersons said that there should be more early intervention with owners and more help for councils and police forces to deal with potential problem animals.

Mr Anderson said: "It is (about) responsible dog ownership. As a dog owner you should be responsible for your dogs."

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