dog owner, we need to know about dog laws – our rights and responsibilities. It
is important for dog owners to meet with the requirements of the law.
The laws apply to any person that is in charge of a dog that means the dog
owner, person in the charge of the dog below are a number of Acts and Orders
which all dog owners and dog handlers need to be aware of.Animal Welfare
Act 2006 (PDF) - This Act
came into force on the 27th March 2007 in Wales and the 6th April 2007 in
England. The new Act increases and introduces new penalties to deal with acts
of cruelty, and obligation of care to animals. This means that a people who
owns a, dog, or looks after a dog and other animals are now legally obliged to
ensure the welfare of the animals in their care. When an animal is in your care
you are covered by the Act.
For example: Any neglect, mutilation, tail docking, animal fighting and the
giving of pets as prizes. In addition to this it will introduce a duty of care
for all pet owners to provide for their animals a suitable environment, a
suitable diet, the ability to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, protection
from pain, suffering, injury and disease and consideration of the animal’s
needs to be housed with, or apart from, other animals.
of Dogs Order 1992 - This
means that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and
address and postcode of the owner engraved on a disc tag. Your telephone number
is optional (but advisable) if a dog is not wearing a collar in a public place
the police could seize the dog and treat it as a stray. the owner, or person in
charge of the dog permitting him to be in a public place without a collar, will
each be guilty of an offence and may be prosecuted and fined.
If your dog does strays, run away you need to contact your local dog warden
(through the Environmental Health Department at your local council) and the
local police station. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 allows for your dog
to be seized and sold or destroyed if unclaimed after a seven day period.
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. With
these acts, you maybe fined up to £1,000 for breaking dog control orders. Local
authorities can make orders for standard offences including: restricting
where a person can walk a dog on or off lead, how many dogs a person can walk
at one time. This makes it an offence if a person in charge of a dog fails to
clean up its faeces. Designated land may include parks, roads, and other
public areas within the local authority’s boundaries. Also any land which is
open to the air and to which the public are permitted to have access.
The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act also updates the law on stray dogs
by transferring the responsibility for strays from the police to the local
authorities. Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 since 6th April
2006 local authorities in England and Wales have had the power to introduce new
Dog Control Orders under this Act.
Micro-chipping Dogs are often re-homed or
worse destroyed because the dog’s owners cannot be found and the dog cannot
find a home. If a dog is micro-chipped with a identification number registered
on a national database, owners can be traced quickly and returned safely. The
Petlog Premium service can notify local vets and dog wardens when an owner
reports where their pet lost. This can be done via telephone, SMS text message
or visit Petlog website www.petlog.org.uk. Phone Petlog on 0870 606
6751. If you lose your dog, you should stay in regular contact with the local
council, Petlog, vets, dog shelters and the police, and put up posters in the
area where your dog was lost.
Dog wardens can take hold of stray dogs and the police, for now, still have
discretionary power to seize stray dogs under the Dogs Act 1906. The finder of
a stray dog must return it to its owner (if known), or take it to the local
authority or police (although soon, only the local authority will receive stray
dogs). It is illegal to take a found dog into your home without reporting it to
the police first.
If you wish to keep the dog, maybe permitted, providing you can look after the
dog, and agree to keep it for at least 28 days. Yet, if the original owner can
come forward and the dog could be return to them.
Byelaws on noisy animals If your dog’s barking causes a serious nuisance to
neighbours, the local authority can serve a noise abatement notice, which if
unheeded can result in you paying fines and legal expenses.
Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (section 3) - It is a
illegal and an offence for the owner or the person in charge of a dog to allow
a dog to be ‘dangerously out of control’ in a public place, a place where it is
not allowed to be, and some other areas. A dangerously out of control dog can
be defined as a dog that has injured someone or a dog that a person has grounds
for reasonable apprehension that it may do so.
When a dog in your charge dog chases, barks at or jumps up at a person or child
could lead in a complaint, so make sure that your dog is under control at all
times. If your dog injures a person, it could be seized by the police and your
penalty may include a prison sentence and/or a ban on keeping dogs. There is
also an automatic presumption that your dog will be destroyed unless you can
convince the court the dog is not a danger to the public, in which case it may
be subject to a control order. You may also have to pay a fine, compensation
The following breeds are banned under the Dangerous Dog Act:- American Pit Bull
Terriers, Fila Brasiliero, Dogo Argentino and Japanese Tosa.
The Road Traffic Act 1988 - This makes it
an offence to have a dog on a designated road without it being held on a lead.
Local authorities may have similar bye-laws covering public areas. Dogs
traveling in vehicles should not be an irritation or in any way distract the
driver during a journey. If a dog is injured by a vehicle, the driver is
required to stop and give their details to the person in charge of the dog. If
there is no person in charge of the dog, the incident must be reported to the
police within 24 hours.
Animals Act 1971 - You may
well be liable for damage caused by your dog under this Act or under some
degree of negligence. It is worthwhile having third party liability insurance
to cover this.
Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963 Anyone boarding animals as a business
even at home needs a licensed by your local authority.
Dogs protection of livestock Act 1953 - Dogs must
not bother, chase or attack livestock that means cattle, sheep, goats, pigs,
horses and poultry on agricultural land, keep your dog on a lead around
livestock. If your dog worries livestock, the farmer has the right to stop your
dog even by shooting your dog in certain circumstances.
Dogs Act 1871 -It
is a civil offence if a dog is dangerous to people or animals and not kept
under proper control that means not on a lead nor muzzled. This law can apply
wherever the incident happened. A dog can be issued with a control or a
destruction order and you may have to pay costs.
For more information please visit The Kennel
Club who will keep up to date with any new laws and is the place for advice on