A Plaid Cymru MS has called for a responsible dog ownership bill to be considered by the government.
Peredur Owen Griffiths, who represents South Wales East, said the measure was needed to increase community safety in the wake of increasing dog attacks.
In Penyrheol – part of Peredur’s region – there have been two fatal dog attacks which resulted in the deaths of 10-year-old Jack Lis and Shirley Patrick, who was 83.
Jack’s mother, Emma, was in the public gallery for the speech and Peredur praised her for her bravery and leadership during his contribution.
As part of the members’ legislative proposal brought forward for debate, Peredur called for responsible dog ownership and education to be prioritised.
During his speech, Peredur said: “I think it is incumbent upon people in this Senedd to explore what we can do to improve the lives of the people we represent. Protecting our constituents and increasing community safety – which is part of the devolution settlement – is an example of that.
“Due to the peculiarities – and I would argue absurdities - of the devolution settlement in Wales, we have some powers at our disposal when it comes to animals but other key powers are reserved by Westminster.
“Anything to do with the Dangerous Dogs Act remains in the hands of those sitting in the House of Commons.
“We do have powers over animal welfare however. If a legislative approach is taken to promote ‘happy healthy dogs’ then it is within our competence in this Senedd.”
He added: “The reality is that there are a large number of dog breeds that could be lethal in the wrong hands.
“This is something that has been recognised in other countries where education is prioritised for dog owners and - in some cases - restrictions are imposed on dog owners to ensure they own a dog responsibly.
“That is a debate I think is well worth having in Wales.
“If we can do something positive and proactive here in Wales, within the limited framework we operate under, we should take that opportunity to protect our citizens.
“I firmly believe that the solutions to the problems we face as individuals, as communities, as a country, are best crafted when they come from within.
“From within Wales. If we can do anything to enhance community safety, thereby making the horrific incidents we have seen in our communities less likely, let’s have the debate, let’s have the consultation and let’s do this for the people we serve.”
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