Looking again at whether current laws on dangerous dogs need changing

Posted: 11/03/10

The Environment Secretary, the Rt Hon Hilary Benn has announced that the Government will hold a consultation on whether the current laws on dangerous dogs are enough to protect the public and encourage responsible dog ownership.

The vast majority of dog owners are well-meaning and responsible and make sure their pet ownership does not impact negatively on the wider community. I know in north Westminster that we've made progress through the use of dog wardens and behavioural training programmes for dogs. But there does seem to be a problem with dangerous dogs and a minority who do not keep their dogs in a responsible manner.

The aim of the Government's consultation is to review current legislation, help enforcers tackle those who abuse the law, and stop the abuse suffered by dogs that end up in the wrong hands.

The consultation will run until 1 June, and will examine:

  • Extending dangerous dogs law to cover all places including private property
  • Giving police and councils more powers to tackle the problem of dangerous dogs by the introduction of dog control notices
  • Either getting rid of exemption rules that allow some people to keep banned types of dogs, or if exemptions are to remain, ensuring that the system works more effectively
  • What to do about the list of banned breeds
  • Introducing compulsory micro-chipping for dogs so that dog owners can be more easily traced
  • Introducing compulsory third-party insurance so that victims of dog attacks are financially recompensed

The Government want to hear from anyone who has been the victim of a dangerous dog attack or is concerned about the issue. You can make your views know by visiting:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/dangerous-dogs/