Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne has told ITV News that owners of killer dogs could receive life sentences for failing to control their vicious pet – a significant leap from the current maximum jail term of two years.
The owners of killer dogs could face life in prison - a huge leap from the current maximum of two years - under new proposals.
The proposals come as a report published by Guide Dogs in June this year revealed attacks by other dogs on guide dogs are at an all-time high of 10 a month.
Paul Brand reported on an incident involving a dangerous dog in June 2012.
A seal has been captured on video playing with a dog on the banks of the Thames.
The footage, shot by owner Nicola White near Greenwich, shows the seal and dog happily interacting for around 5 minutes.
Kent Police has given dog charity DogLost the money to buy ten microchip scanners following a sharp rise in the number of working dogs being stolen. Twenty dogs were reported stolen in the county between August and December last year.
Labradors, retrievers and spaniels are among those being taken in sometimes brazen thefts because criminals can gets hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds for them.
All dogs in England will have to be micro-chipped from 2016.
The new rules will help missing dogs be reunited with their owners, but will it help crack down on dog owners who are irresponsible?
Ronke Phillips reports.
110,000 dogs get lost, dumped or go astray in the UK each year. The government hope compulsory microchipping will make a difference.
In the UK the microchip is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. The process is carried out by a suitably trained person. It is not carried out under anesthetic. Once implanted correctly the microchip is unlikely to fail and so provides lifelong permanent identification.
Microchipping just feels like a small pinch or mild sting – akin to a minor injection - and the dog does not feel the chip at all after it has been inserted.
Currently, it costs between £20-£30 to have your dog microchipped at the vet.
For more information visit The Dog's Trust.
Along with compulsory microchipping, the Government has announced plans to extend legal protection over dog attacks to cover incidents on private property.
This will be a relief for many postmen and women, health visitors and others who call at private addresses but have not been covered by the law if they are bitten by a dog.
Microchipping was introduced in 1989 and is the most effective and secure way of permanently identifying a pet. A unique identification number is registered to the animal and the owner's details are placed on a database.
Microchipping also has a number of other welfare benefits, including:
-All puppies being traceable to their breeder
-Deterrent to dog theft
-Allows for rapid return
-Easier identification and subsequent arrests of owners culpable of animal cruelty
-Enables vets to quickly contact dog owners for emergency procedures