Local authorities and police forces in England and Wales will be able to ensure that irresponsible dog owners take action to prevent dog attacks and nuisance behaviour. In addition the owner could face a fine of up to £20,000.
If a complaint is received by councils or the police the dog’s owner could be forced to:
- Attend training
- Keep the dog muzzled
- Require the dog to be microchipped or neutered
- Repair a property to ensure a dog does not escape
A new Community Protection Notice has been introduced as the first step towards curbing irresponsible dog ownership. The CPN carries a fixed penalty notice up to £100 and prosecution fines up to £2,500.
Dog Control Orders are being phased out and replaced with Public Space Protection Orders. A PSPO will be used to prosecute owners whose dogs are causing a nuisance and is having a detrimental effect to the quality of live in public places. A PSPO carries a fine from £100 to £1,000.
Community Protection Notices (CPN) can also be used if an owner allows their dog’s behaviour to be persistent and ongoing in public places. A written warning will be issued and if the problem is not resolved owners can face a fine of up to £20,000
Community Behaviour Orders (CBO) can be used to force owners to attend training, muzzle their dog, keep their dog on lead and can restrict the dog a person can own.
In addition there are new powers to prosecute owners whose dog attacks someone in public and on private property. Owners now face up to 14 years in prison if their dog fatally attacks someone and 5 years in prison if their dog seriously injures someone.