FROM May, dog owners will be punished for attacks such as the one that killed teenager Jade Lomas-Anderson in Atherton a year ago.
Changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, making it possible for owners to be prosecuted for dog attacks on private property, have now received Royal Assent.
Bolton West MP Julie Hilling, who has campaigned with the Anderson family, welcomed the news — but said more must still be done to prevent dogs becoming dangerous.
Ms Hilling said: “I welcome the changes that are being made to the law and I hope it will help prevent future attacks and tragedies across Britain.
“In the anniversary week of Jade’s death we must not forget this tragedy and the continued tide of devastating cases across the country.
“Jade’s family and local campaigners have worked tirelessly with me to bring changes to the law and it’s thanks to their hard work that some of the aims of the campaign have been achieved.”
Jade died aged just 14 on March 26, 2013, in the Hag Fold estate in Atherton when she was at a friend’s house.
Four dogs, including two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers, savaged her with armed and riot police needed to quell the raging animals.
Ms Hilling added that her work with Jade’s family to bring about further change will carry on.
She said: “Hopefully these changes can bring some closure to Jade’s family in knowing people across Britain will be safer due to our work together in the Justice for Jade campaign.
“However, the fight is not yet over as we still need to do more to prevent dog attacks occurring.
“I will continue to work with campaigners here in Bolton West and in Westminster to ensure tighter laws and other preventative measures are brought in on dangerous dogs.”
On the changes receiving Royal Assent, the RSPCA’s David Bowles said: “Tougher sentences may well act as a deterrent, but reactive legislation on its own will not reduce dog bites and attacks.
"The new law lacks any measures to prevent dog attacks or intervene with owners at an early stage."