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Senator calls for law making persons criminally liable for injuries caused by their dogs

Kerensia Morrison
 
Government Senator Kerensia Morrison wants laws urgently passed to make persons criminally liable when their dogs attack people. 
 
During Friday's sitting of the Senate, she moved a motion calling for the legislative change. 
 
In moving the motion, Senator Morrison pointed to recent dog attacks and stated that greater vigilance by owners could reduce them. 
 
"Be it resolved that the government move with urgency to amend the legislation to reflect more effective penalties including criminal prosecution for negligence on the part of dog owners and be it further resolved that consideration be given by the government for legislation to be enacted for the regulation for dog ownership such as the registration and grading of dogs, in particular with respect for known aggressive breeds," she declared.  
 
Senator Morrison stated that the 1877 legislation dealing with dog attacks has proven insufficient in discouraging neglect by owners.
 
She also noted that some victims might not be able to afford the cost to recover damages through a lawsuit.
 
The Ministry of Justice has said it is awaiting a response from the Attorney General's Department about whether to make persons criminally liable for injuries caused by their dogs.
 
The issue has been in the public domain since four pitbulls carried out a vicious attack on a teacher in Coopers Hill, St. Andrew in September.
 


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