Views sought on dog laws

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Westminster is toughening up the legislation regarding dog attacks on people with longer jail terms for irresponsible owners.

On Tuesday a public consultation was launched by the government as part of its clampdown on dangerous dogs.

Since 2005, 16 people have died in dog attacks, but owners currently face only two years imprisonment.

The consultation will ask respondents what they consider appropriate jail terms in incidents of the death or serious injury of a person or dog.

Animal welfare minister Lord de Mauley said: “Dog attacks are terrifying and we need harsh penalties to punish those who allow their dog to injure people while out of control. We’re already toughening up laws to ensure that anyone who owns a dangerous dog can be brought to justice, regardless of where a dog attack takes place. It’s crucial that the laws we have in place act as a deterrent to stop such horrific incidents.”

The consultation will run until September 1 and can be found online at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/animal-health-and-welfare/dda_dog-attacks_sentences_survey. The results will be used to inform the recommendations put forward in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.