Tougher dog crime sentencing

Owners of dangerous dogs which attack people in public will face stiffer penalties, including up to 18 months in prison. It's part of a Government clamp down on irresponsible animal owners.

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'Urgent need for preventative action' - Animal welfare charity

Steve Goody, director of external affairs at animal welfare charity Blue Cross, says tougher sentencing alone isn't enough to prevent dog attacks.

"The campaign to reform the current Dangerous Dogs Act has been dragging on for some 20 years now"

"We feel that there is an urgent need for preventative action, or dog attacks will continue to increase''

"We believe the introduction of useful, practical measures could be used specifically to target irresponsible dog owners before an attack happens"

– Steve Goody, director of external affairs at Blue Cross

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New sentences for dangerous dog offences

Sentences for people who allow a dangerous dog to injure someone:

  • The offence will now have a starting point of six months in jail
  • Where appropriate, judges will be encouraged to consider up to 18 months
  • The top of the sentencing range for possession of a prohibited dog has been set at six months custody

Irresponsible dog ownership has 'serious impact' on communities

Animal Welfare Minister Lord Taylor says we've seen tragic instances of attacks by dangerous dogs, and irresponsible dog ownership has a serious impact on many of our communities. He says the clampdown sends a clear message that dog owners are responsible for keeping their animals under control.

"We are determined to crack down on people who fail to keep their dogs under control, and earlier this year we consulted on measures to do this including extending the dangerous dogs laws so they cover private property''

– Animal Welfare Minister Lord Taylor
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