As of the 26th of February last month, the owners of wayward dogs are to be landed with ASBOs if their pet attacks another person.
The measures have come amid concern that is growing about the regularity of attacks perpetrated by out of control dogs, and give local councils the power is dispense a “dog control notice” in an effort to force people to take account for the behaviour of their pets.
The new law was introduced in an effort to stop a clause, which means that if a minor is set upon by a dog at the place where it lives, the animal’s owner would not be charged unless it was classified a dangerous breed.
In the twelve months leading up to 2000, there were 239 reported attacks. Between 2006 – 2007, these figures rocketed by 160%, with the number of attacks totalling 623.
Gordon Strachan, of Dawgs, a canine rescue centre based in Aberdeen, commented:
“I think anything that tightens it up and makes people more responsible in their approach to dogs can only be good.”
“A lot of dogs get a bad name and for a lot of them you can’t say it is their fault. It’s the owners and the way they have grown up.”
“It is a very fine balancing act. Sometimes the dogs have been given far too much freedom or they have been badly treated.”
Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish Justice Secretary, said that the measures were to act as prevention to attacks, and were introduced to “nip them in the bud” rather than issue dog control notices by the thousand.
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