Dog bite law in England and Wales
The history of English dog bite law begins with the 1871 Dogs Act, which permitted courts to order the control or destruction of dangerous dogs. A century later, the 1971 Animals Act introduced more stringent legislation by making the keeper of an animal liable for any damage it causes. Twenty years passed before a string of savage attacks provoked the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act.
The Dangerous Dogs Act has been subject to intense criticism, with the accusation levied that it its wording reflects a hysterical reaction to the challenging context in which it was drawn up. Following the act, dog bite law became tougher. The act ordered that ‘specially controlled’ types were to be registered, neutered and microchipped in the hope that such measures would reduce attacks. But despite the act receiving criticism that it was too reactionary in some quarters, others have felt that the dog bite law laid out in the act was too weak. Earlier this year, plans to extend microchipping beyond the four types of dog identified in the act were mooted. As it stands, only pit bull terriers, Japanese tosas, Argentine dogos and Brazilian mastiffs are subject to microchipping.
No matter how strict or effective dog bite law becomes, however, it seems certain that a handful of dog attacks will be reported every year. Tougher dog bite law can act as a deterrent for negligent and irresponsible owners, but no legislation can eradicate the problem completely, as data from earlier this year suggests. NHS Wales figures showed that on average, a person a day was sent to hospital as the result of a dog attack. This represented a 60 per cent increase from a decade previous. The swell in dog attacks in Wales is expected to be representative of trends throughout the United Kingdom. And if you are one of the unfortunate victims of a dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation.
Making a dog bite claim
Should you decide to pursue a claim for any injuries you have sustained from a dog attack, please find a claim form for our website’s host – Macks Solicitors. Macks Solicitors are dedicated to providing a quality, caring service. If you would like to find our more about pursuing a claim with no obligation, freephone 0800 980 9387. Altenatively, please complete the dog bite claim form and a member of the Macks personal injury team will call you back at your convenience.
On 13th March 2014 the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill received royal assent. This bill makes significant changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act which in turn will have a big impact on the responsibilities and obligations of dog owners in […]
New guidelines published today by the Sentencing Council of England and Wales promise tougher sentences on owners of dangerous dogs. Judges and magistrates will now be encouraged to deliver tougher sentences for anyone whose dog attacks another person. The guidelines […]
It is imperative that dog owners and victims of attack understand the current UK law concerning dog bites. If you are bitten by a dog, knowledge of the law that surrounds to the incident will help you to make a claim as quickly and effectively as possible.
The main point to bear in mind is that if the dog owner has been negligently treating a dog, for example, not feeding it, leaving it unsupervised or anything else, then you are probably entitled to compensation for the bite – especially if it requires medical attention. It is also worth looking into illegal breeds, so you know if an owner is guilty of having an illegal breed of dog.
Knowing the ins and outs of dog bite law may help you when it comes to making a dog bite compensation claim. This article ventures to lay out some common misconceptions of dog bite law and how understanding the law fully will aid many individuals, both dog owners and victims alike,in doing the right thing when it comes to making a claim. There is no need to feel overwhelemed by dog bite law – it is mostly common sense and if you do think you are entitled to claim money, then contact a solicitor right away.
Every year, around 225,000 people seek medical advice after being bitten by a dog and around 5,000 people are admitted to hospital. Under current dog bite law, certain breeds are banned in the UK because they are deemed dangerous. However, any dog can be aggressive if they have not been trained and socialised or if they are abused. A new Dog Control Bill is currently being considered by the House of Lords. Under the bill, the focus of law will be on responsible ownership rather than specific breeds. If you have been bitten by a dog, Macks Solicitors are available to speak to you about making a compensation claim.