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East London call for dogs amnesty after Liverpool toddler death

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:19 05 October 2010

COUNCILLORS in London’s East End are calling for an amnesty to hand in dangerous dogs. The call from Opposition Liberal Democrats at Tower Hamlets comes in the wake of the death of toddler John-Paul Massey in Liverpool who was attacked by his uncle’s dog

By Mike Brooke

LOCAL authority members in London's East End are calling for an amnesty to hand in dangerous dogs.

The call from Opposition Liberal Democrats on Tower Hamlets council comes in the wake of the tragic death of four-year-old John-Paul Massey in Liverpool who was killed by his uncle's dog, the fifth child to be killed by a family pet since 2006.

An amnesty would allow families to hand in dogs to Tower Hamlets animal warden service that are out of control or getting too big to handle safely.

"There is concern about the potential for dogs trained to fight which attack children in their homes," Lib Dem group leader Stephanie Eaton warned.

"We are calling for the authority and other social landlords and property owners to agree to allow dog owners whose animals have become too aggressive and dangerous to hand them in without penalty.

"Dangerous dogs should not be in homes where there are small children."

An amnesty would allow dog owners in breach of tenancy and leaseholder rules forbidding animals to hand them in without prosecution within a time period. It would allow the dogs to be released to a responsible agency for rehousing, rather than being left in homes where they may pose a danger or be released onto the streets.

A similar move in Merseyside saw 80 dangerous dogs removed from neighbourhoods.

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