Dangerous Dogs Legislation
Enhancing Dog Control under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, specifically Part 7, brings about significant changes in the regulation of dangerous dogs. These changes aim to keep dogs under proper control and ensure public safety. Let’s delve into the main aspects of this legislation:
Expanding the Scope:
One of the notable changes is the extension of the law’s reach to cover not only public places but also private areas, with limited exceptions. This expansion is designed to address concerns related to dangerous dogs in residential spaces.
‘Householder Case’ Défense:
In an effort to balance the rights of homeowners, a defence known as the ‘householder case’ has been introduced. Homeowners should not be prosecuted if their dog attacks a burglar or trespasser. Under this provision, a dog may not be considered dangerously out of control if it is within a dwelling (a domestic property) or part of a dwelling and the person being attacked is trespassing. However, it’s important to note that this defence does not cover incidents in private gardens, such as a child climbing over a fence to retrieve a ball. The legislation distinguishes between situations where a person is attacked during a crime, like breaking into a house, and cases involving other types of trespassing. The Act also increases the potential prison sentence for those convicted of certain offenses.
Protection for Assistance Dogs:
Part 7 of the Act introduces a new offense for a dog attacking an assistance dog, such as a guide dog for the visually impaired. This is treated as a criminal offense under Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Enhanced Seizure Powers:
The legislation grants powers to constables and appointed local authority officers to seize a dangerously out of control dog in private places. Since May 13, 2014, police constables and appointed local authority officers have been authorized to seize any dog that appears dangerously out of control in both public and private places. It is crucial to note that the animal must be dangerously out of control immediately before or at the time when the decision to seize is made.
Considerations in Court:
The Act sets out specific factors that a court must consider when assessing the suitability of a dog owner and the behaviour of the dog. These considerations are critical in determining whether the dog should be destroyed.
In summary, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, Part 7, introduces crucial changes to ensure the proper control of dangerous dogs, balance homeowner rights, protect assistance dogs, and enhance seizure powers. These measures are essential for the safety and well-being of both the public and their furry companions.
For those seeking a comprehensive understanding of dog-related safety measures and the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime, and Policing Act, Safety Solutions Training Ltd. offers specialist training on dangerous dogs awareness. This training equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complexities of dog control and ensure the safety of both people and dogs.
In summary, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime, and Policing Act 2014, Part 7, introduces crucial changes to ensure the proper control of dangerous dogs, balance homeowner rights, protect assistance dogs, and enhance seizure powers. These measures are essential for the safety and well-being of both the public and their furry companions.
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