There are several acts in force that cover dogs and their owners, some dog laws are there to protect all involved but some are just plain stupid. Here's what we managed to find out involving dogs and the law.
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Dog laws in the UK date back to the 19th century but there are also more recent laws involving your dog we should all be aware of.
The most notable of these dog laws is the ‘Animal Welfare Act of 2007’ aimed at providing protection of animals. Previous acts were more concerned with laws protecting humans, but we will come to those a little later.
The Animal Welfare Act of 2007 in short specifies that you must care for your pet in a proper manner. Obviously people differ in their definition of this, some owners keep their dogs outside year round, others cuddle up with them under the duvet. There are five major points here;
This act has been a breakthrough into looking after a dogs welfare. In addition to covering the above it also breaks into unnecessery suffering, tail docking, dog fighting and the sale of dogs.
Whilst there is a little overlap, the majority of dog laws through the years have focused on protecting humans, our property and our health.
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is a little outdated now and will most likely be reviewed in the coming years. The act similar to others contains quite a bit of ambiguity, for example the act states that a dog must not be dangerously out of control and create fear in an individual. One persons definition of this will differ from another’s. I regularly see a chocolate lab o my local field, he is a huge fella, soft as anything but huge. He bounds up to you making this grumbling noise, to a stranger this may seem very intimidating but to me he is just happy to see me. Is he dangerous – no. Could he be perceived as being dangerous -most definitely.
Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 the dog may be destroyed. This act has close ties with the Dogs Act 1871 which then holds the dog owner/handler accountable.
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 also specifies certain breeds of dog, namely the
These dogs should be registered, neutered, micro-chipped and insured. Failure to comply is a fine of upto £5000 and/or a 6 month spell in your local jail cell.
This act gives local councils the power of Dog Control Orders (DCO) letting them create specific orders relating to five offences
Up until 2003 Scotland took the first rule even further in that it was illegal to even let your dog foul in a designated public place regardless of whether you clean it up or not. The Clean Neighbourhoods act loosened this to ensure the waste is cleaned up, otherwise a penalty of upto £1000 can be enforced.
The Control of Dogs Order require dogs in a public place to wear a collar and ID tag with the name and address of the owner/handler, failure to follow this and you could face a maximum £5000 fine. There are exceptions to this including service dogs and some working dogs.
Breeding and Sale of Dogs Act 1999 requires anyone breeding a dog for the purposes of making money to be a licenced breeder. You must also not breed from a bitch younger than 12 months old. A single bitch must not have more than 2 litters in a 12 month period nor have more than six litters in her lifetime. Puppies must not be sold until they are at least 8 weeks old and must have accurate records.
Do you know of anything we missed out? Let us know using the comments below.