The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Changes to the Law in May 2014.
Professional Expert Witness
I act as an expert witness and assessor. Whereby I assess dogs that come under the umbrella of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act ( DDA 1991) and the Dogs Act 1871
As well as a working as a full-time dog behaviourist, I am also a dog expert in dog behavioural and breed specific court cases.
I have assessed numerous cases, both private and criminal, regarding temperament and breed specific dogs, accused under the DDA of 1991
Dogs and owners or the person in charge of the dog can find themselves at the centre of legal proceedings both civil or criminal.
Legal proceedings could be taken, if a dog has been accused of being a banned breed, or an incident involving aggressive behaviour towards a person or persons.
Whereby the dog is accused of being dangerously out of control and may, or may not have attacked someone. The dog does not have to bite to be prosecuted under this act. The dog only has to cause a concern or apprehension, that the person MAY be attacked.
These laws can be a minefield for unsuspecting dog owners. I also provide assessments and reports for social services and fostering agencies. I welcome contact from all bodies/organisations that require experienced and professional expert witness and assessor
Important New Legislation
There is a massive change to the 1991 dangerous dogs act. It can affect all dog owners, or the person in charge of the dog at the time of the incident.
The changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 will come into force on 13th May 2014.
The new law under the bill called: Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 (AsBC&P Act) will extend the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991.
These far-reaching changes will see far harsher punishments for owners and people who were responsible for the dog at the time of the incident.
This could mean dog walkers, dog sitters or family or friends who had offered to look after the dog
Amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act in England and Wales (Scotland has its own laws). The first in 23 years, will see far tougher dog control laws and sentencing.
The Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Bill, which includes amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act, will now allow the prosecution of owners for dog attacks on private property. Your own home or garden, literally anywhere
Dog owners will now not only face longer prison sentences for the actions of their animals, they’ll also be liable for prosecution regardless of where an attack takes place.
New preventative powers for police and local authorities will ensure they can act early, to help stop dog attacks before they happen.
These new rules mean that owners, or the person responsible for the dog when the incident occurred. Will be held accountable and face a substantial increase in sentencing penalties.
Compulsory microchipping will also help bring about more responsible dog ownership Though this does not come into law until 2016.
Please Re-Tweet or Facebook this so that all dog owners are aware of this new law.
The AsBC&P Act brings in five main changes to the law concerning dog control which will apply in both England and Wales from 13th May 2014:
1. It extends the scope of the law to cover private places (with a limited exception) in addition to public places.
2. It increases the prison sentence for those convicted of some offences.
3. It creates a new offence for a dog attacking an assistance dog.
4. It provides powers for a constable or an appointed local authority officer to seize a dangerously out of control dog in a private place.
5. It sets out specific considerations concerning the suitability of an owner and the behaviour of a dog a Court must think about if it is not to order the destruction of the dog.
This is a massive change in the law and should be taken seriously. I urge all dog owners with dogs that have any aggression issues, to consider employing a Trainer or better still a Behaviourist who is specifically experienced in this field of work.
They should be able to assess the dog, and put together a program to reduce the possibility of an attack, Thereby reducing the likelihood of a criminal offence happening that could result in a jail term, a fine or both and the dog could be destroyed.
The majority of the cases I have to assess, is between dogs fighting if one of the owners steps in to break it up and gets bitten. It is called “Redirected Aggression” The Government is taking these attacks very seriously. It is about time that we realised, that if our dogs are a danger to either dogs or people, it is our responsibility to do something about it.
I think it is important to point out that your dog does not have to bite, to be deemed dangerously out of control in a public place. Read this:
Defined by section 10(3) DDA, “On any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person, whether or not it actually does”
That could mean that if your dog is in your back or front garden, and it acts aggressively to people next door or walking past. Then under the law, you could face a very serious criminal prosecution.
If you think your dog may fall foul of this law then consider getting a Muzzle see Muzzles on my website
Sentencing Maximum Increases:
From May 13th, 2014 onwards the maximum prison sentences for those convicted of having a dog dangerously out of control will be increased to;
14 years if a person dies as a result of being injured by a dog,
5 years where a person is injured by a dog, or
3 years where an assistance dog is injured or killed by a dog.
If you want more in-depth information on these changes then for further reading click the links below.