MP Eleanor Laing has welcomed the extension of the Dangerous Dogs Act, saying the public will be better protected.

The new legislation, which allows for the prosecution of owners regardless of where a dog attack takes place and includes harsher punishments, has been granted royal assent.

Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing praised the measures.

She said: “I have campaigned extensively for measures to prevent dog attacks and for appropriate punishment for irresponsible dog owners.

“This new legislation takes important steps to protect the public whilst still encouraging responsible dog ownership.”

“In my constituency the punishments given to dangerous dog offenders have been an insult to their victims. Thanks to these new laws this will no longer be the case.”

Laura Curd's dog Willow suffered serious injuries when they were attacked in Waltham Abbey by a pack of dogs in October 2013.

The owner received a caution and Mrs Curd, 44, from Godwin Close in Sewardstone, criticised the police response.