Tougher penalties have come into force for dog owners in England and Wales who allow their pets to attack people, with the maximum prison sentence rising from 2 years to 14 years for a fatal attack, and from 2 years to 5 years when an injury is caused.
“Irresponsible dog owners will not only face longer prison sentences, but will also be liable for prosecution regardless of where an attack takes place, even in their own home.
“This will give protection to those who provide vital services in the community – postal workers, nurses, utility workers – as well as people visiting family and friends.” Lord de Mauley Animal Welfare Minister
Also, the Dangerous Dogs Act now includes a specific provision to protect assistance dogs such as guide dogs from attack. Owners found guilty of allowing an attack on an assistance dog could be jailed for up to three years.
New preventative powers will allow the police and local authorities to send owners to dog training classes and require dogs to be muzzled in public.