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Kennel Club Statement - Ellie Lawrenson

‘The Kennel Club is extremely shocked and saddened by the tragic incident that has resulted in the death of Ellie Lawrenson in Merseyside on New Year’s Day. Our thoughts and condolences are with Ellie’s family and everyone who knew her.

‘This dreadful news highlights the need for a revision to current Dangerous Dog legislation in England as the general public are not being sufficiently protected by the law as it currently stands. Breed specific legislation has not proved an effective tool to deal with people who keep dogs like the one that attacked Ellie Lawrenson, and the inability to prosecute owners whose dogs attack on private property such as a family home is also deeply flawed. This incident further demonstrates the need to both educate the public on the vital importance of training dogs correctly and to punish those that fail to do so. The importance of training and education cannot be overstressed and the Kennel Club continues to promote safe interaction between children and dogs through both the Safe and Sound and Good Citizen Dog Scheme. For further information please visit

‘However the Kennel Club does not welcome the pit bull amnesty that has begun in County Antrim, or any other breed specific knee-jerk response reminiscent of the rushed, and ineffective Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. While we understand the intentions of the amnesty to reduce the number of dog attacks, the Kennel Club is of the view that displays of aggressive behaviour by any dog, regardless of breed, is the responsibility of the dog’s owner.

‘In the wrong hands, any breed of dog can be dangerous - the number of dog attacks by breeds other than those on the dangerous dogs list illustrates this. Similarly, any dog that has been trained by its owner appropriately and sufficiently should not be outlawed or destroyed based on its breed alone. The Kennel Club has further fears that dog owners could use such an amnesty as a ‘dumping ground’ and that this could encourage grossly irresponsible dog ownership. Owners must be responsible for training their dogs properly; dumping them when they realise that this may be harder than they thought is not the solution and will not prevent dog attacks.’