Bootle toddler attacked by family dog

Salisbury Avenue in Bootle
Image caption The attack happened at a house on Salisbury Avenue in Bootle

A toddler is recuperating in hospital after being bitten by the family dog at a house on Merseyside.

The 16-month-old boy was attacked at a house in Salisbury Avenue in Bootle at about 12:40 BST on Tuesday and was taken to hospital with head injuries.

The owners of the dog - a Staffordshire Bull Terrier - signed it over to officers to be put down.

Police said as the attack happened on private property action would not be taken against the dog's owners.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 means it is an offence to be the owner of a dog that is dangerously out of control in a public place but it does not apply to attacks that take place on private land.

Attack prevention

A relative of the injured boy has told the BBC he is doing well - but they are too upset to reveal more about what happened.

The incident comes a month after 14-year-old Jade Anderson was killed by five dogs at a friend's house in Atherton, near Wigan, Greater Manchester.

Her family are now campaigning for a change in the law.

Luciana Berger, Labour MP for Wavertree, said: "There are 8 million dog owners in the UK and the vast majority of them know how to look after their dogs.

"But some people don't have the skills to equip them or to best look after their pet.

"That is one of things we have been looking at in Parliament, that actually we need to look at how we can prevent dog attacks from happening in the first place."

Angela McGlynn, whose four-year-old son John Paul Massey was mauled to death by his uncle's dog in Liverpool in 2009, has campaigned for new laws to try to prevent more attacks.

She said: "My campaign is to raise pet awareness, it's not just on dangerous dogs.

"It's to highlight the other breeds of dogs that do attack and most definitely it is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier."

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