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Dog laws to change to deal with dangerous dogs

Posted by: Sophie Berrisford  Date: 04/11/2013   Category: Latest News

Dog owners now face tougher penalties if their dog either attacks or kills other dogs or humans with new laws coming into place before spring next year.
Dog owners whose dog attacks and kills a human could now face up to fourteen years in prison under tough new laws which is now brought in line with other crimes such as causing death by dangerous driving which also sees offenders in prison for up to fourteen years.
If your dog viscously attacks a human causing serious harm but not death the penalty paid has now changed from a maximum of two years in prison to a maximum of five years in prison. Both of these new laws apply to all dog owners that allow their dog to act dangerously around other members of the general public even if it occurs on the owner’s property. There will however be a legal exemption for members of the public trespassing and intruding into people’s homes. This law is set to see dog owners training their dogs and treating them in the correct manner to ensure they do not act out of anger of how they are treated.
This news comes only weeks after the high profile case of Jade Lomas-Anderson who was mauled to death by four ‘hyper aggressive’ dogs whilst visiting a friend. As the attack was not in a public place to dog owner walked free of jail despite evidence that she confined the dogs to areas too small for them, certain cages prevented the dogs even to stand up and deprived them of walks, all of which would certainly make a dog angry and aggressive. Should this attack have happens after the new laws are in place as Jade was a visitor and not an intruder, the dogs owner would be facing a prison sentence of up to fourteen years.
Guide dog charities have been raising awareness for the importance of guide dogs and have called for stricter punishments for dogs that attack them. A new maximum sentence of three years now applies for dog owners whose dogs attack or kill a guide dog. This law is a special case as guide dogs act on behalf of people with disabilities whose life could be disadvantaged without their dog.
Richard Leaman, chief executive of Guide Dogs, said: ‘Guide Dogs has long campaigned for tougher sanctions against irresponsible dog owners whose dogs attack guide dogs. It’s clear that the vast majority of respondents to this survey agree and we are pleased the Government is listening – though we would have liked to see a longer maximum sentence for a crime of this brutality.’

The new laws that are now in place will give extra protection to family members and professionals who have to visit homes with dogs as it should add pressure to dog owners to ensure their pets are treating correctly and act accordingly.
This change in the law has been seen as a positive step towards preventing aggressive dogs with behaviour issues. Since 2005, 16 people have been killed by dogs and hopefully with the new laws in place, this number will drop dramatically.