Monday, September 25, 2006

Dogs and Children

When hearing and reading about this story one thing struck me - why was a five-month old left with two rottweilers and where exactly were the parents? The Guardian newspaper writes:
A five-month-old baby girl died of her injuries after being savaged by rottweilers, police revealed yesterday.

The dogs pounced on the baby while she was in her family's living quarters above he Rocket pub in New Parks, Leicester, on Saturday afternoon. Police said she was "dragged for a distance", possibly on to a balcony.

The baby was taken to Leicester royal infirmary at about 4pm, where she died. Neighbours yesterday described the rottweilers as "very aggressive".
At this time my thoughts obviously go out to the parents of the tragic child but at the same time serious questions must be addressed and perhaps a sensible change to the law put forward. At present only certain breeds of dog are controlled under the dangerous dogs act and the legislation is quite weak. Perhaps it is time that legislation was created to ensure that not only the behaviour of certain breeds of dangerous dogs is monitored but also that ensures that owners/handlers are in a position to actually control their animals. At present maybe there isn't a big enough onus on the owners to possess basic handling skills themselves.

In light of this tragedy the law should also be changed sufficiently to make sure that no child is left unsupervised with any animal. Knowing perfectly well that dogs especially are aggressive and temperamental pack animals should appeal to common sense enough to prevent one from leaving their baby or you child alone with them. Also both dogs and young children can be unpredicable and so if left unattended the likelihood of an incedent occuring must be higher.

Ultimately in this case any change in the law will be too little too late but hopefully preventing people from owning dogs if they cannot train and nurture them correctly should be a start.

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