The Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced in 1991 following a spate of dog attacks around the UK. Amended in 1997, until recently the Act has not addressed the problem of a person being attacked whilst on private property.
The government, however, has made changes to the law to make the owners of dogs that attack on private property in England and Wales, liable to prosecution.
The Dangerous Dogs Act was originally introduced in 1991 following a sharp increase in the number of dog attacks in the UK. Following a recent fatal dog attack there have been demands for changes to be made to the Act to include potential prosecution for owners whose dogs attack on private property. In response to these demands, the government has made some new amendments.
The Defra website stated that,
‘Under Government plans, dog owners will no longer be immune from prosecution if their dog attacks a person in the home. This change in the law will give protection to the healthcare, postal and utility professionals who visit private properties for work.’
The arrival of spring often means an increase in the number of dog bite compensation claims and leading law firm: Accident Advice Helpline, welcomed this amendment to the Bill. A representative from the company made this comment:
“We are pleased that this loophole in the law is being addressed. Hopefully the amendment will have the effect of making existing dog owners behave more responsibly, and make others think twice before taking the huge decision to own a dog.”
It is often said that dog owners need the training rather than the dogs themselves. It is a huge, ongoing responsibility to own a dog, which many owners realise after it is too late. The time and expense of training, feeding and exercising can easily be underestimated and some dogs are left with not enough food and little exercise, making a dog attack more likely.
According to Defra, the number of dog bite incidents has risen by a huge 79% in London during the last 5 years, and by 43% nationwide. This alarming statistic highlights an urgent need for the new legislation.
Dog Bite Compensation Claims
For anyone who needs advice about making dog bite compensation claims, Accident Advice Helpline can be reached on 0800 689 0500.