Regular readers of this column should now be well aware that I am not a fan of dogs of any shape or size.

I’m also not a fan of owners who cannot accept that there are a lot of people who don’t share their love of dogs.

I know exactly where and when my antipathy towards ‘man’s best friend’ started. It was back in the days when dogs were allowed out on the streets without being on a lead and one particular beast seemed to take great pleasure in chasing after me, snapping at my ankles, as I rode past on my bike.

The problem was I had no option but to ride that way to get to the homes of two aunts who lived nearby.

That experience set up a deep-seated mistrust of all dogs. I don’t care if it ‘just wants to play’ or is ‘just being friendly’. My plea to all dog owners is keep your dogs on a lead and away from other people unless they actively invite you and your dog into their personal space.

So I have every sympathy for those people who called the police when an XL Bully (more on these later) was allowed to roam free on Westy Park. The only pity is the dog and its owner had gone before the police arrived.

In my opinion, it is completely unacceptable to have dogs off leads in parks and areas where children are playing but I was somewhat surprised to see that Warrington Borough Council doesn’t share my views.

According to the council, Warrington parks ‘welcome dogs accompanied by responsible owners’.

Dog owners are welcome to exercise their dogs in Warrington parks but should follow the good dog code, one element of which says: Uncontrolled dogs can be frightening to others (yes, they most certainly can).

The official council policy says: “When walking your dog in a park or open space, they should be under close control at all times. This can include exercising dogs off a lead if the dog is trained to return on demand and does not pose a threat or nuisance to other dog walkers or park users.

“Owners of well behaved dogs are welcome to exercise dogs off lead in parks and open spaces, unless otherwise signposted.”

So let’s have a look at the sort of dog that caused so much panic (quite justifiable panic in my opinion) in Westy – an XL Bully.

There are four breeds of dog currently banned in the UK – Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro. Whether a dog is a banned type depends on what it looks like rather than its breed or name so if a dog matches many of the characteristics of, for example, a Pit Bull Terrier, it may be a banned type.

But somewhat inexplicably, the XL Bully has not been banned, even though it shares much of its genetic stock with the Pit Bull Terrier. To make matters worse, the Bully has been mixed with other breeds such as the Mastiff to give it greater size and strength.

And it has become clear that the XL Bully is behind an increase in fatal dog attacks which is hardly surprising given that some of them are growing to nearly 10 stone and becoming too dangerous to walk in public.

And all the evidence you could ever need is there for everyone to see. The number of deaths as a result of dog attacks has risen from four in 2021, to ten in 2022 and a further five have happened up to June this year.

And the American Bully XL has been linked to at least nine of those deaths, including two children.

It really is time these dogs were put on the banned list. There is absolutely no place for them on our streets, parks or any public place.

On another subject, well done to Warrington police for tracking down the driver who is alleged to have killed geese on Omega Boulevard by driving over them.

I regularly used the roads in that area and to be honest, the ducks and geese in and around Whittle Hall Duck Pond can be a bit of a pain when they take up residence in the middle of the road. They can be a problem but driving over them isn’t ever the answer.