Grandmother becomes fifth person this year to die in dog attack

Campaigners are demanding urgent changes to the law after a woman died after a dog attack and an 11-year-old boy was rushed to hospital after reports a dog was out of control.

The mother in her 70s was declared dead at the scene of the attack at a home on Kathleen Avenue in Bedford, Warwickshire after she was mauled by a family pet.

She is the fifth person this year to be killed by a dog.

A 52-year-old man and a 49-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of possession of a banned breed of dog and owning a dog dangerously out of control.

The 11-year-old school boy was rushed to hospital at the weekend after emergency services arrived at a home in Manchester to find the youngster injured.

A woman, 35, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of having a dog dangerously out of control.

Superintendent Sutherland Lane said: “This was a tragic isolated incident and a full investigation is now under way to establish the circumstances surrounding it.

“Thankfully, dog attacks of this nature are exceedingly rare but I recognise this will be deeply upsetting for the local community.

“The public can expect to see a heightened police presence in and around the area while we conduct our inquiries. Please do come and speak to one of our officers if you have any information that could help with our investigation.”

Campaigners calling for reform to the Dangerous Dogs Act say the list of four banned dogs fails to tackle a wider problem that has seen adults and children maimed and killed by a range of breeds.

Labour MP Wayne David also renewed calls for revamped dog safety laws following several serious dog attacks this year.

He said: "We are seeing a huge escalation in the number of dog attacks and deaths, especially since Covid. A large number of people bought dogs during lockdown. 

"We need a different approach towards the whole issue of dog control by moving away from the selective list of dog breeds. We need a more general approach that includes all kinds of dogs, including American XL bullies which cause numerous deaths", he added.

The four other victims of fatal dog attacks this year are: 28-year-old Natasha Johnston in Surrey, four-year-old Alice Stones in Milton Keynes, 51-year-old Wayne Stevens in Derby and 37-year-old Jonathan Hogg in Leigh.

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