David Hanson MP has welcomed new tougher penalties that have today come into force for dog owners who let their pets attack people.
After campaigning on the issue last year in his role as Shadow Minister for Policing and pushing the government to introduce tougher sentences for dog attacks through legislation, Mr Hanson has welcome the move to ensure that when dogs kill or injure people their owners are held responsible.
As of the 13th of May, the maximum prison sentence for an owner who allows their dog to carry out a fatal attack on someone has increased from the two years in prison to a maximum of around 14. The sentence for allowing a dog to cause injury has also gone up with the limit now five years in prison, also up from a maximum of two. For the first time, there will also be a specific provision to protect assistance dogs such as guide dogs from attack and sentences for those who attack them.
There have been least 27 deaths from dog attacks since 2006 and 6,302 hospital admissions in 2012/13.
David Hanson MP said:
“Dogs can be wonderful pets but when attacks happen they can destroy families and end lives, so I think tougher sentences are a sensible way forward to ensure people take responsibility for their dogs and treat and train them correctly so the attacks don’t happen in the first place.
There are still far too many children and adults being attacked by dogs so I’m glad the government listened to the arguments I put forward and agreed with me that these tougher sentences will help stop future tragedies.”