A man whose mother was attacked by the family’s Jack Russell has said Britain must go further than a ban on American XL bullies.
Daily Mail columnist Stephen Pollard argued that if dog licensing were to be reintroduced across the UK, then it would force “egregious” owners who encourage their pets to be violent and intimidating to give them up.
He made the call after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced he wanted to ban American XL bully dogs by the end of the year following a series of gruesome attacks.
Mr Pollard points out that it is not just XL bullies which can pose a threat to the public, but other breeds, including Jack Russells.
The columnist, writing in the Daily Mail, recounts a surprise attack on his mum by his Jack Russell terrier, Victor, which left her suffering “unimaginable pain”.
He recalls hearing a “piercing scream”, shouts and “high-pitched, very loud crying” before running downstairs to find his mum, now 89, bleeding uncontrollably.
Mr Pollard writes how Victor had tore off his mother’s top lip and attacked again when his “desperate” mum pushed the dog away.
Victor had gone for her as she bent down to pick up some clothes from a basket as she was doing the ironing. She was rushed to Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood, west London, where surgeons operated on her.
Meanwhile, the hound, which had been “trained, obedient and good-natured”, was driven to the vet’s where he was put down.
The columnist adds that his mum took years to recover from the attack, but is now an active 89-year-old.
In light of his own experience, Mr Pollard argues a ban on XL bullies should be a first step, recommending a return of dog licences, which were scrapped in England, Wales and Scotland in 1987.
His call comes after Ian Price, 52, died in hospital after suffering serious injuries as he stepped in to stop two dogs attacking his mum in Stonall, Staffordshire, on September 14.
A 30-year-old man was detained on suspicion of being in charge of dogs dangerously out of control and manslaughter. He was later released on conditional bail.
Ana Paun, 11, was attacked by an American XL bully and Staffordshire bull terrier crossbreed puppy in Bordesley Green, Birmingham, on September 9.
She suffered serious injuries to her arm and shoulder, while two other people were also injured after the dog broke free from its collar twice.
Mr Pollard argues that with “stringently enforced rules” so anyone without a dog licence is prosecuted, you would find out how many dogs there are in Britain and what kind.
He says it would also reduce the number of unsuitable owners and lead to breeders with owners of the more dangerous breeds completing a training course.
The columnist writes: “No amount of licences would have stopped Victor going for my mother. Sometimes, an animal’s primal instincts will simply take over.”
He added owners of XL bullies and similar breeds all too often encourage the dogs to be “violent and intimidating”, adding the UK’s streets would be safer with a dog licensing scheme.