John Paul Massey death: Parents hand letter to PM
- 11 April 2012
- From the section Liverpool
The parents of a four-year-old boy who was killed by a pit bull terrier are urging the prime minister to introduce tighter controls on dangerous dogs.
John Paul Massey was mauled to death by his uncle's dog in Liverpool in 2009.
The boy's parents, Angela McGlynn and John Massey, have handed a letter to 10 Downing Street asking why it is taking so long to change the law.
They were joined by Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger.
Their letter was co-signed by representatives of the CWU, Blue Cross, the RSPCA, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the National Dog Wardens Association and the Police Federation of England & Wales.
It urges Mr Cameron to give "urgent and immediate attention to the ongoing issue of dangerous dogs and dog control in England, on behalf of the children and adults who have lost their lives and the thousands of people who sustain injuries, often serious, as well as the animals who are attacked and killed every year."
The letter also reminded the prime minister that 22 months ago a government consultation called for action to tighten loopholes in dangerous dogs legislation.
"Since what happened to our John Paul, things should have been changed to stop this happening to anybody else," Mr Massey said.
Ms McGlynn added: "It isn't just pit bulls that are doing the harm, it's lots of other dogs."
Jim Paice, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, said: "This was a tragic event and John Paul Massey's parents have done a great deal to highlight the serious issue of dangerous dogs.
"We need to act, but we must make sure we are taking the right action. We have taken the time necessary to get the policy right and will very shortly be announcing a package of measures."
Campaigners want the law to cover private property - currently dog owners can only be prosecuted if their dog is dangerous in a public place.
They also want to see compulsory micro-chipping of dogs.
Steve Goody, of pet charity Blue Cross, said: "The Dangerous Dogs Act is totally inadequate."
Ms Berger added: "The government has now had 22 months to respond to their own consultation. Every day that passes without action, more people are attacked and injured or killed."
John Paul was savaged while being looked after by his grandmother, Helen Foulkes, at her home in Ash Grove, Wavertree, in the early hours of 30 November 2009.
In June 2010, his uncle, Christian Foulkes, was jailed for four months for breeding and owning the dog, called Uno.
His grandmother was given a suspended sentence and banned from keeping dogs for life.