Dangerous Dogs

House of Lords written question – answered on 22 May 2012.

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Photo of Lord Greaves Lord Greaves Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action can be taken against (1) dogs, and (2) their owners or controllers, in cases of dog attacks on cats and other domestic animals.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 enables action to be taken in cases where a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place or a place it has no right to be, whether or not it injures anyone. This can include instances where the dog attacks another animal. For dogs, this could result in them being put down. For their owners or controllers this could mean a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. On 23 April 2012, the Government launched a consultation on their proposals to tackle irresponsible dog ownership and these included extending the law to all places, including where the dog has a right to be. The consultation closes on 15 June 2012.

The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 provides for action that can be taken by farmers against dogs that attack their livestock. In addition, under the Animals Act 1971, a dog owner may be liable if it injures or kills livestock.

It may also be possible to take action under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 against an owner whose animal has attacked and injured another animal.

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