Scottish Crackdown on Bad Dog Owners

In an article from The Herald, a Scottish plan to crack down on irresponsible dog owners who let their pets run dangerously rampant has met with positive response. Alex Neil, an SNP backbencher received about 100 responses to his proposed Control of Dogs Bill, which calls for a new approach. Under the new proposal dog owners could be liable to pay up to £5,000 (about $9,723 US dollars) for injury or damage, with the most severe penalties for more serious cases being unlimited fines and up to two years in jail.

The proposed law is meant to operate as a preventive, enabling control orders to be issued to owners of dangerous animals. The orders could require muzzling, re-homing the dog, or owners being required to attend dog-training courses.

Mr. Neil’s approach is to shift focus from the dogs to the owners, as he feels the owners should be held responsible for their dogs. Current legislation focuses more on specific breeds and he said this has not made the public safer.

“There is a minority of dog owners out there who are simply not responsible with their dogs, and we need ways to act against them,” said Mr. Neil.

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