This week, Chris Evans MP met Emma Whitfield, a mother whose son, Jack Lis, was killed by a dangerous dog in Caerphilly in 2021, during the All- Party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Group’s event in Parliament.
Alongside meeting Emma, Mr Evans met with representatives of the Dog Control Coalition, who are collection of animal welfare groups campaigning for reform and consolidation of dog control legislation and the Breed Specific Legislation to be replaced by breed neutral legislation. Members of the coalition include Battersea Cats and Dogs Home, Dogs Trust, RSPCA, Blue Cross, British Veterinary Association and Scottish SPCA.
The Islwyn MP joined his fellow South Wales Labour MPs, Ruth Jones MP, Wayne David MP and Jess Morden MP, to hear about how the current Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) has been failing, by not reducing hospital admissions from dog bites; improving public safety or reducing the breeds or types of dogs it legislates against.
The Dogs Trust have found that in the UK over the past 10 years alone, the number of admissions to hospital for dog bites has risen 30% from 6,640 to 8,655 (2011-12 to 2021-22).
Mr Evans also heard how the legislation has led to thousands of prohibited dogs being euthanised unnecessarily as it is illegal to rehome prohibited dogs to new owners, even when they pose no behavioural threat to the public.
Chris Evans MP said:
‘We desperately need for a new approach to dangerous dogs in this country. We cannot continue to repeat the mistakes of the last 30 years.
Jack Lis was a lovely, happy, young lad who was tragically killed by a dangerous dog. His mother, Emma Whitfield, is campaigning with All-Party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group and the Dog Control Coalition to reform the Dangerous Dogs Act.
No one should have to go through what Emma and family have.’