A MERSEYSIDE law firm has issued a legal challenge against police following a crackdown that saw dangerous dogs rounded up and destroyed.

Twenty-two banned-breed dogs were seized on March 27 in an operation against owners who, according to police at the time, had failed to comply with court orders exempting them from the law.

Warrants were executed across Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and Liverpool to seize the animals, which were put down within hours.

But Page Moss-based solicitors Parry Welch Lacey, acting on behalf of ten clients in Liverpool, argues that the force had no legal power to put down the dogs and has issued an application for a judicial review at the High Court.

The firm's challenge alleges police acted in excess of their powers, unlawfully and unreasonably when the seizure and killing was authorised because there was no valid court order permitting the destruction.

If the High Court finds it was an unlawful act, the Chief Constable will have to bear responsibility for suffering caused.

Partner James Parry told the Globe: “We're very confident our application will be successful and the judge will find in our favour. To date, the police have not really been able to justify their actions.”

Merseyside Police confirmed they have received notice of an application for judicial review.

A spokesman would only say that as proceedings have now been initiated, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.