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Campaigners call for DDA enforcement in city

A SERIES of dog attacks has prompted campaigners in a Yorkshire city into raising a petition calling upon the local authority to enforce the Dangerous Dogs Act.

The campaigners are calling on Bradford Council to enforce Government legislation designed to protect the public from dangerous dogs.

The petition also demands the number of wardens in the Bradford Dog Warden service be increased, with service employees working closely with police to enforce the law.

Elizabeth Hellmich who runs a community safety campaign called SAFE has started the petition.

She said the dog warden service in Bradford was good, but needed more support to deal with the number of incidents across the Bradford district. More than 100 people have already put their names to the petition which will be presented to Bradford Council.

Heaton Woods Trust is backing the campaign after its chairman Sue Brown was viciously attacked by a Rottweiler which caused serious injuries to her right arm as she walked in the woods.

Mrs Brown, ironically, was the teacher of Bradford girl Rucksana Khan who was mauled by a dog 15 years ago, an attack which led to the introduction of the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In another incident, trust member John Tempest helped a walker keep two German Shepherds at bay for over two hours as they worried cattle in a field between Heaton Woods and Northclifee Woods, where another attack took place a fortnight ago.

Mr Tempest said concerns about dogs being walked off the lead in Heaton Woods had prompted the trust to put up signs reminding walkers of their responsibilities.

‘We put up notices, some of which have been criminally removed,’ he said.

‘There are people who have been abusive when we have asked them to put them on a lead.’

Mr Tempest said the trust had contacted MPs Marsha Singh (Lab, Bradford West) and Philip Davies (Con, Shipley) to ask for their support with the campaign.

Mother-of-two Angela Hearns said she would put her name to the petition after a dog in her care was attacked as she walked it near her home in Thornton.

Miss Hearns, 31, said she was suffering nightmares after the attack, which left Blue - her aunt's dog - needing £350 of veterinary care.

The incident happened in fields between Havelock Street and Sapgate Lane. Blue, who was off his lead, was mauled by an alleged ‘pitbull-type’ dog which was also running free.

She said the dog's owner did not try to offer any help either during or after the attack.