American bulldog that killed 10-year-old boy was NOT on banned list

American bulldog that killed 10-year-old boy was NOT on banned list, police reveal

  • Jack Lis was killed by a dog called Beast when he went to play with a friend 
  • Beast was shot by police and specialist dog experts analysed the dog’s DNA
  • They concluded the animal was an American bulldog – a breed not banned in UK
  • A fierce dog which killed a 10-year-old boy was not on the banned breed list in Britain, police have revealed.

    Jack Lis was killed by the eight-stone dog called Beast when he went to play at a friend’s house in Penyrheol, Caerphilly after school on November 8. 

    The animal was shot by a police marksman and detectives hired specialist dog experts to analyse the DNA of Beast, who was used to breed £1,000 puppies.

    They have now concluded the animal was an American bulldog – a breed not currently banned in the UK.

    Jack suffered ‘severe injuries to the head and neck’ in the attack.

    His MP has called for a review of the list of animal on the Dangerous Dogs Act – saying it is ‘not fit for purpose.’

    Chief Superintendent Mark Hobrough said: ‘The work to identify the breed of dog involved this attack has concluded, with the dog legislation officer’s report classifying the breed as an American bulldog.

    Schoolboy Jack Lis

    Beast

    Schoolboy Jack Lis (left) was killed by the eight-stone dog called Beast (right) when he went to play with a friend after class – and the animal was shot by a police marksman

    Jack died from 'severe injuries to the head and neck' after he was attacked by a 'Beast' 15-month-old dog (pictured) at his friend's house in Penyrheol, Caerphilly

    Jack died from ‘severe injuries to the head and neck’ after he was attacked by a ‘Beast’ 15-month-old dog (pictured) at his friend’s house in Penyrheol, Caerphilly

    ‘This breed does not feature on the list of banned dogs and is therefore not illegal to own in this country.’

    Dangerous dog legislation in the UK

    What is the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?

    The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 bans or restricts certain types of dogs and makes it an offence to allow a dog of any breed to be deemed dangerously out of control.

    It was introduced 30 years ago by Home Secretary Kenneth Baker ‘to rid the country of the menace of these fighting dogs’ after a string of attacks.

    Which dogs are banned in the UK?

    It is illegal to own four breeds of dogs without an exemption from a court. They are:

    • American pitbull terriers;
    • Japanese tosas
    • Dogo Argentinos;
    • Fila Brazileiro  

    The law also criminalises cross-breeds of the above four types of dog – meaning that whether a dog is prohibited will depend on a judgement about its physical characteristics, and whether they match the description of a prohibited ‘type’.

    What happens if there’s a dog attack?

    You can get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months if your dog is dangerously out of control. 

    You may not be allowed to own a dog in the future and your dog may be destroyed.

    If you let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for up to five years or fined. If you deliberately use your dog to injure someone you could be charged with ‘malicious wounding’.

    And if you allow your dog to kill someone you can be sent to prison for up to 14 years or get an unlimited fine. 

    Why has the Act been criticised? 

    Both the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the British Veterinary Association have protested against the ban, insisting there is no scientific evidence that all individuals of a breed are dangerous.

    However, Met Police data suggests that in incidents involving ‘dangerously out of control dogs’, banned breeds account for about a fifth of offences.

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    Roofer Lee Jenkins, 34, had kept the animal at an address in Mountain Ash, South Wales, until two days before the attack, after trying to get rid of it online.

    Gwent police said: ‘We’ve arrested a 28-year-old woman from the Caerphilly area on suspicion of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury resulting in death. She was later released on conditional bail.

    ‘Two men – a 34-year-old from the Mountain Ash area and a 19-year-old from the Caerphilly area – attended voluntarily in relation to an offence of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury resulting in death. Both were later released.

    ‘Enquires are ongoing.’

    An inquest into Jack’s death revealed the youngster had been ‘playing with a friend’ in Penyrheol, Caerphilly, South Wales.

    The pair went to his friend’s home in a neighbouring street when the attack happened.

    Senior coroner Caroline Saunders told the inquest in Newport: ‘Upon entering the home Jack was attacked by a dog’.

    The inquest heard paramedics were called but Jack’s injuries were ‘unsurvivable’ and he was pronounced dead just after 4pm.

    After the hearing, Jack’s family paid tribute to the youngster in a statement.

    They said: ‘We are absolutely heartbroken. Our lives will never be the same without Jack.

    ‘This is not something any parent should ever have to be writing.

    ‘We have so many words we want to say about our beautiful boy, but they do not seem enough.

    ‘We love him more than words can describe. Our boy made us the proudest parents and family on the planet. He was the sweetest of boys.

    ‘We will forever miss his quirky ways and his stories that he would spend so long telling us.

    ‘He’s forever in our hearts. Sweet dreams Jack, our perfect boy.’

    Caerphilly MP Wayne David called for changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act after the tragedy.

    He said: ‘It’s important to realise that a number of people, 10 in fact, over the last 20 years have lost their lives because of attacks by dogs which are clearly dangerous and many thousands of people have actually been injured.

    ‘That indicates to me that the legislation which we have in place is not fit for purpose.’

    Calling for change, he added: ‘It’s difficult to say whether situations could have been avoided but clearly the case in my view is that there are inherent weaknesses in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

    ‘There’s been plenty of criticisms of it, plenty of different views expressed, but what we haven’t done is manage to find a consensus on how the legislation needs to be reformed and made more effective. That urgently does need to happen.’