There are various laws concerning dogs and the responsibility of their owners. It is worth taking on board these laws if you are a dog owner or you are a considering buying a dog. A failure to adhere to these rules can land you in court and potentially facing a fine and in extreme cases the loss of your pet and maybe even a ban on keeping dogs or other animals in the future.
These are some of the laws that apply to dog owners:-
The Control of Dogs Order 1992 says that all dogs on the highway, or in a public place must wear a collar and have an identity tag which gives the owner’s name and address.
Section 27 of the Road Traffic Act 1998 states that: “A person who causes or permits a dog to be on a designated road without the dog being held on a lead is guilty of an offence. In other words, you should keep your dog on a lead when on a public road.
The Environmental Protection (Stray Dogs) Regulations 1992 says that a local authority must appoint a dog warden to deal with stray dogs found in their area. An owner who has lost and wishes to reclaim their dog which has strayed, may only do so if they have paid the Local Authority’s charges incurred by detaining the dog, together with a fine on a standard scale.
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is perhaps the most well known law concerning dogs. Section 3 of the Act applies to all dogs, not just the so called fighting dogs such as American Pitbull terriers. The Act also applies to all dogs that are dangerously out of control in a public place. Dangerously out of control is defined as being 'on any occasion in which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person'. Generally, if a dog bites someone then it will be presumed to have been dangerously out of control. A public place is defined as including any place 'to which the public have or are permitted to have access’. A dog owner found guilty of allowing their dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place, may be ordered to have their dog destroyed, may be fined or be disqualified from owning a dog for any time the court sees fit, or a combination of all three. This law would cover the situation where your dog bit someone in a public place.