Your dog and the law

Owning a dog is great but under law you must do certain things.

Dog microchipping - new laws

The Microchipping of Dogs(England) regulations came into force on 6 April 2016.

This means that:

  • All dogs aged eight weeks and over must be microchipped
  • Dog owners who fail to microchip their pet could face a fine of up to £500
  • The information on the chip must be kept up-to-date to make sure that information, such as change of address, is accurate

For advice and  details of how this change affects you, please visit the Dogs Trust website.

Controlling and cleaning up after your dog

If you do not control your dog or clean up after it, you could be fined £75. Offences include:

  • Failing to remove dog faeces. You must clean up after your dog in all public areas including footpaths and roads, tree bases, grass verges and gutters. You must also clean up in all parks, gardens and open spaces where dogs are allowed
  • Not keeping a dog on a lead when near roads or when in nature reserves
  • Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when asked to do so by an authorised officer. This is in all parks, gardens and open spaces where dogs are allowed
  • Letting a dog onto land where they are banned. This includes all play areas, fenced sports areas in parks, gardens and open spaces. Play areas on housing estates

Identification of your dog

As well as being microchipped, all dogs in public places must wear a collar with a plate or tag with the owner's contact details inscribed on it.

If you fail to do so, we could pick your dog up as a stray and fine you.

Dangerous dogs

It is an offence for any dog to be dangerously out of control in any place; this includes private property. The owner or person in charge of the dog may be prosecuted and fined up to £5000. Police could seize the dog and in severe cases, get a court order for the destruction of the dog.

Both the council and the police have a joint responsibility to investigate dangerous dog incidents. You should report any dog biting incident to us and the police immediately for investigation.

How to prevent your dog from being dangerous

  • Make sure your dog is well socialised with people and other animals from a young age
  • Ensure that your dog is well trained so that you have it under control at all times. You should use a muzzle and a lead if you have any doubts about your dog's temperament
  • A dog may be good with people but not with other dogs. You should still be careful, as a large percentage of dog bites happen when owners are trying to separate dogs that are fighting
  • Allowing your dog to attack other dogs, cats or other animals may result in us or the police taking formal action and make you subject to civil action by the animal's owner

Dogs which are named under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 must be kept on lead by someone aged 16 and over, and muzzled in public. It is an offence to own these dogs unless they've been registered.

 
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