PCC welcomes plans to increase sentences for dangerous dogs

A pit bull terrier
A pit bull terrier
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The county’s police commissioner has welcomed Government plans to introduce compulsory micro-chipping for all dogs.

Adam Simmonds wrote to the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) in January, saying he was concerned at the rising number of attacks made on guide dogs by other dogs.

Today (Tuesday) environment secretary Owen Paterson told MPs the Government wanted to increase the maximum penalty for dog attacks.

Mr Paterson outlined plans to raise the prison sentence which could be handed out to an owner to 14 years if their dog results in someone dying, to five years if it injures someone and to three years if an assistance dog is killed or injured.

Both the UK and Welsh Governments have announced measures requiring all dogs to be micro-chipped by April 2016.

Parliament will now consider the proposals and, if agreed, they should come into force next year following Royal Assent of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.

Mr Simmonds said: “One of the first things I did when I came into office was, on behalf of Guide Dogs for the Blind, express my concern about these attacks on guide dogs.

“This is very welcome news as during 2011 and 2012 there were 183 guide dogs attacked, costing the Guide Dogs charity in the region of £200,000.

“Compulsory micro-chipping for all dogs will assist the police in tracing dangerous dogs and their owners and will enable them to take swift and effective enforcement action against them.”