Two arrested for 'breeding pit bulls'

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The Independent Online

Two people have been arrested in Devon on suspicion of breeding illegal pit bull-type dogs.

Police officers seized four dogs at a house in Barnstaple under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

A man in his 50s and a woman in her 40s were arrested and are said to be assisting police with their inquiries.

The arrests come after a girl was killed by four dogs in Greater Manchester on Tuesday afternoon.

It is thought Jade Lomas-Anderson, 14, was mauled by two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers while she ate a meat pie at a friend's house.

Although bull mastiffs and Staffordshire bull terriers are not identified in the 1991 Act, Jade's death has led to calls for the laws on dangerous dogs to be toughened up.

Breeds such as pit bulls can only be kept if the owner has the permission of a court and keeps to special safety rules. These include micro-chipping the dog, tattooing it, as well as ensuring it is insured, neutered, muzzled in public, kept on a lead and held by someone aged 16 years or over.

A seized dog identified as a pit bull "type" can only be returned to its owners under the order of a court, if it is not considered a danger to the public.

Detective Inspector Praveen Naidoo, of Barnstaple CID, said: "Dangerous dog breeds cause significant concern within the community and we will act positively when offences are suspected under this legislation."