An Angus dog campaigner has spoken out at what he sees as a communications breakdown when it comes to issuing penalties for out of control dogs.
Ian Robb of Angus Dog Rescue was incensed by a recent incident near Carnoustie in which the owner of a dog which bit a Monifieth woman was issued with a police warning.
He was further shocked to hear that since the implementation of the Dangerous Dogs Act 2010 only one dog control notice has been issued by Angus Council’s dog wardens.
He said: “That’s not good enough. That’s totally shocking when you think about the incident in Carnoustie which is a typical incident the 2010 legislation was set up to deal with.
“The police gave her a warning, but that’s not suitable.
“At the end of the day why are the police still issuing police warnings to people involving dogs out of control when they should be passing it to the dog warden to allow her to do her job and issue dog notices?”
Mr Robb has spent years lobbying government for legislation to tackle dangerous dogs and irresponsible owners which eventually helped bring about the Dangerous Dog Act 2010. However, he believes it has not had the impact that was hoped for.
He said: “I get so frustrated, all the work I have done involving Staffies and so on, but at the end of the day it comes down to the 2010 Dangerous Dog legislation.
“Something like this is very difficult to enforce but if they are not going to make an effort to do it, why bother with the legislation in the first place?
“I’m trying to do something to protect the public from people who will not keep their dogs under control out in the public domain.
“They have to be taught a lesson. They have to keep their dogs under control at all times but it’s still happening in Angus.”
He added: “Maybe a bit more publicity would scare people and let them see they can’t get away with it anymore, especially with all the incidents we’ve had in Angus.”
We took Mr Robb’s concerns to Police Scotland and a spokesperson for Tayside Division replied: “We are fully alert to this legislation and work closely with our colleagues at Angus Council.
“On this occasion, the matter was reported to us by a member of the public and the appropriate enquiries were undertaken according to the 2010 Dangerous Dogs Act.”
A council spokesperson said: “If you have concerns about a dangerous dog, we would advise the public to contact the police in the first instance.
“The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 gives powers to local authorities for action to be taken against out of control dogs and enforce measures to improve any such behaviour.
“If, after investigation, it is found that the dog was out of control, the owner may be issued with a written warning and in certain instances a Dog Control Notice (DCN). A DCN outlines the measures the owner must take to make sure the dog is controlled in a manner which ensures the safety of others and prevents further incidents/attacks. Once a DCN has been issued, the council must check the notice is being complied with. Any further reports of the dog being ‘out of control’ or a breach of the DCN, will be investigated. Failure to comply with a DCN is an offence and can incur a fine of up to £1,000. A court may also make an order to disqualify a person from owning or keeping a dog for a period of time.”