Dangerous dogs’ law changes cover attacks on private property
Powers for the police to tackle irresponsible dog owners are among legislative changes published recently in the draft Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill.
The Government announced in February that it will extend legislation in England and Wales to make it an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control in any place, including all private property.
The proposed new measures mean dog owners could be prosecuted if they fail to stop their dogs attacking someone on their own or someone else’s private property. If convicted, they could face an unlimited fine and/or up to two years in jail.
However there will be no protection for trespassers, such as burglars, who are attacked by a householder’s dog.
Attacks on guide dogs and other assistance dogs will be explicitly covered by the new legislation, for the first time.
In addition, the changes will make clear the court’s right to take into account the character of the owner as they take action to tackle irresponsible ownership.
The Government is also bringing in compulsory microchipping for all dogs from 6th April 2016.