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Review of Control of Dogs Act 01/08/2019 MSPs on the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee have said that current dog control legislation isn’t fit for purpose and called for a comprehensive review of all dog control laws

Review of the 2010 Control of Dogs Act

MSPs on the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee last month said that current dog control legislation isn’t fit for purpose and called on the Scottish Government to undertake a comprehensive review of all dog control laws immediately.

The Committee had just completed its review of the 2010 Control of Dogs Act. MSPs heard evidence from victims and witnesses of dog attacks and concluded that there is still an unacceptable level of attacks in Scotland.

The Committee heard that a lack of data was a significant barrier in evaluating the effectiveness of the 2010 Act and that the failure of Scottish Ministers to use the powers given to them under the 2010 Act to establish a Scottish Dog Control Database was unacceptable and must be rectified immediately.

It was recognised that numerous factors have limited the effectiveness of the Act including; a lack of awareness and a lack of resources at local authority level which has resulted in an insufficient number of dog control wardens being appointed to enforce the current law.

The Committee recognised that until a review of legislation was completed, more immediate action would be needed. Recommendations to achieve this included:

  • The immediate establishment of a ‘Scottish Dog Control Database’ to improve the effectiveness of the Act.
  • GPs, hospitals, local authorities and Police Scotland to be required to record and collect consistent data on reported incidences.
  • Local authorities to use their by-law powers to create secure play areas for children within parks from which dogs are banned.
  • An immediate and overdue awareness campaign of the 2010 Act to educate the wider population of how it can be used.

The report can be found here.
 

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