Dog Control Bill (HL Bill 51)

A

BILL

TO

Make provision about the control of dogs; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Responsibility for dogs

(1) In this Act, references to a person being responsible for a dog are to a person
responsible for a dog whether on a permanent or temporary basis.

(2) In this Act, references to being responsible for a dog include being in charge of
5it.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, a person who owns a dog shall always be
regarded as being a person who is responsible for it.

(4) For the purposes of this Act, a person shall be treated as responsible for any
dog for which a person under the age of 16 years in their care and control is in
10charge.

2 Control of dogs

(1) It is an offence to—

(a) allow a dog for which they are responsible to be dangerously out of
control, in either a public or private place;

(b) 15encourage a dog for which they are responsible to be aggressive or to
intimidate people or other protected animals;

(c) allow a dog for which they are responsible to attack a person or another
protected animal without reasonable cause.

A person responsible for a dog that injures any person shall be guilty of an
20aggravated offence.

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(2) For the purposes of this Act, protected animal has the same meaning as in
section 2 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

(3) There may be seen to be reasonable cause if—

(a) the person attacked was committing an offence for which the penalty
5could be a custodial sentence;

(b) the person or protected animal was in a place where they were not
permitted to be which was enclosed by adequately maintained and
substantial boundaries which would reasonably be expected to be
capable of restraining a dog and which was clearly marked to warn
10such persons against entering;

(c) the dog is being used for a lawful purpose by a person licensed by a
body established by the Private Security Industry Act 2001 or a person
who complies with BS8517-1;

(d) the dog is being used for a lawful purpose by a constable or a person in
15the service of the Crown;

(e) the dog was provoked into an attack by a person other than the person
responsible for it as defined in section 1;

(f) the dog was being attacked by another animal; or

(g) the dog is competing in recognised dog trials in which they
20demonstrate their working ability;

but this list is not exhaustive.

3 Dog control notices

(1) An authorised officer may serve on the proper person a written notice (a “dog
control notice”) requiring the person to bring and keep the dog under control
25if—

(a) it comes to the attention of an authorised officer that a dog has, on at
least one occasion after this section has come into force, been out of
control,

(b) a court makes a requirement under section 5(3) or a case is remitted
30under section 9(3).

(2) It is immaterial, for the purposes of section (1)(a), that on either, any or all of
the occasions the dog was out of control some person other than the proper
person was in charge of the dog.

(3) For the purposes of this Act, a dog is out of control if it is not being kept under
35control effectively and consistently (by whatever means) by the proper person,
and—

(a) it injures any person; or

(b) there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will do so.

(4) The apprehension mentioned in subsection (3)(b) may be as to—

(a) 40the individual’s own safety,

(b) the safety of some other person, or

(c) the safety of a protected animal other than the dog in question.

(5) In this Act an “authorised officer” in the context of any provision means a
person appointed to be an authorised officer for the purposes of that provision
45by—

(a) the appropriate national authority;

(b) a local authority; or

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(c) a police officer who complies with subsection (6).

(6) In appointing any person to be such an authorised officer for the purposes of
this Act, the appropriate national authority, local authority or police authority
is to satisfy itself that the person is skilled in the control of dogs and has the
5capacity to instruct and advise others in matters relating to the control of dogs.

(7) A dog control notice shall not relate to more than one dog.

(8) Any authorised officer serving a dog control notice must notify the appropriate
local authority.

4 Content of dog control notice

(1) 10A dog control notice shall require—

(a) that the person responsible (“P”)—

(i) complies with the terms of the notice to the satisfaction of the
local authority which has the duty of monitoring its
effectiveness and enforcing it, and

(ii) 15on changing name, address or phone number, notifies the
authority of the change in question;

(b) that, within 14 days after the effective date, either—

(i) an electronic transponder compliant with ISO Standard 11784
and 11785 be duly implanted in the dog as a means of
20identifying the animal and registered on a database meeting the
requirements set out in the Schedule, or

(ii) P satisfies the local authority (by providing such information to
them as they may require), that such a transponder was duly
implanted in the dog before the notice was served and already
25constitutes a means of identifying the animal and is registered
on a database meeting the requirements set out in the Schedule;

(c) that, on an electronic transponder being implanted under paragraph
(b)(i), P informs the local authority that it has been implanted and by
whom, together with the identification number of the device; and

(d) 30that P or an entrusted person be present and in charge of the dog.

(2) An electronic transponder is implanted for the purposes of subsection (1)(b) if
it is implanted by a person who, in the opinion of the local authority, is
appropriately qualified to carry out such an implant.

(3) An entrusted person for the purposes of subsection (1)(d) is a person who—

(a) 35has attained the age of 16 years,

(b) has for the time being been entrusted by P with charge of the dog,

(c) has been made familiar by P with the requirements of the dog control
notice, and

(d) is willing and able to comply with those requirements.

(4) 40A dog control notice may specify other steps P is required to take, in particular
steps which in the opinion of the authorised officer—

(a) must be taken if the dog is to be brought and kept under control, or

(b) would be conducive to its being brought and kept under control,

and in specifying any such step the notice may specify a date by which it is to
45be taken.

(5) Subsection (4) is subject to sections 5(4) and 7(7).

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(6) Steps specified by virtue of subsection (4) may, without prejudice to the
generality of the subsection in question, include any or all of the following—

(a) muzzling the dog whenever it is in a place to which the public have
access;

(b) 5keeping the dog on a lead whenever it is in a place to which the public
have access;

(c) neutering the dog;

(d) keeping the dog away from a place, or category of places, specified in
the notice;

(e) 10imposing a period of curfew; and

(f) P, with the dog, attending and completing a course of training in the
control of dogs;

but this list is not exhaustive.

(7) Ministers may by order—

(a) 15amend any paragraph of subsection (1) or (6) (including any paragraph
added by virtue of paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection),

(b) amend subsection (1) by adding a further requirement, or

(c) amend subsection (6) by adding a further example of a step which
might be specified in a dog control notice.

(8) 20A dog control notice must include—

(a) the date on which it is served and a statement that the order comes into
effect on that date;

(b) the name and address of P;

(c) a description of, and information regarding, the dog, including the
25identification number of the transponder device;

(d) the reason for the authorised officer concluding that the dog has been
out of control (including a description of the circumstances on the basis
of which the officer has come to that conclusion); and

(e) the information that—

(i) 30section 5 of this Act provides for an appeal against a dog control
notice or against a term of such a notice;

(ii) section 9 of this Act provides for the discharge or variation of a
dog control notice;

(iii) section 10 of this Act provides for any dog which continues to
35be out of control; and

(iv) it is an offence under section 7 of this Act to fail to comply with
a dog control notice.

(9) A dog control notice may include such other matters as the local authority
thinks fit provided the inclusion is consistent with any order under subsection
40(10).

(10) Ministers may by order prescribe a form for a dog control notice.

(11) Different provision may be made under subsection (10) for different cases or
for different classes of case.

(12) The date mentioned in subsection (8)(a) is referred to in this Act as the
45“effective date”.

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5 Appeal against dog control notice

(1) P may by summary application appeal to the magistrates’ court against—

(a) a dog control notice served under section 3(1)(a), or

(b) a term of such a notice.

(2) 5On any such appeal, the court may on the application of P suspend the effect
of the dog control notice, or of any term of that notice, pending a decision in
the appeal.

(3) On any such appeal, the court may—

(a) uphold or discharge the notice or term appealed against,

(b) 10in the case of an appeal under subsection (1)(a), decline to discharge the
notice but discharge or vary a term of the notice,

(c) in the case of an appeal under subsection (1)(b)

(i) decline to discharge the term appealed against but vary it,

(ii) discharge or vary any other term of the notice.

(4) 15Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3), variation of a term of the
notice may include—

(a) specifying a step to be taken by P additional to any specified by virtue
of section 4(4);

(b) substituting a date for that by which a step is to be taken.

6 20Duty of local authority to monitor effectiveness of and to enforce dog control
notice etc.

(1) An appointing authority must—

(a) monitor the effectiveness of, and

(b) enforce,

25any dog control notice served by an authorised officer appointed by the
authority.

(2) A local authority must record, and when necessary update, such information
as Ministers may require in relation to any dog control notice served by an
authorised officer.

(3) 30When a local authority updates information under subsection (2), they are to
inform P accordingly.

(4) Ministers may, in relation to information held by a local authority by virtue of
subsection (2), by order—

(a) permit the authority to share, for the purposes of this Act, that
35information with other local authorities, Ministers and the police, and

(b) permit or require any person to be given access to that information, or
to some part of that information, for research purposes.

7 Failure to comply with dog control notice

(1) If P fails to comply with a dog control notice, then P commits an offence and is
40liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard
scale.

(2) Where P is convicted of an offence under subsection (1), the court—

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(a) may make an order disqualifying P from owning or keeping a dog
during such period as the court thinks fit,

(b) where the court considers that the dog in respect of which the offence
was committed is dangerous, may make an order—

(i) 5appointing a person to undertake the dog’s destruction, and

(ii) requiring that it be delivered up for that purpose.

(3) Where a court so orders the destruction of a dog under subsection (2)(b) P may
appeal against the order to the Crown Court.

(4) Whether or not P is so convicted, the court may discharge the dog control
10notice.

(5) If the court does discharge the dog control notice, it may impose a requirement
that P be subject to a further dog control notice, served by the local authority.

(6) Subsection (5) does not apply if, in the case of a conviction, an appointment is
made under subsection (2)(b)(i).

(7) 15In imposing a requirement under subsection (5), the court is to direct that the
further dog control notice include (in place of any that might be specified by
virtue of section 4(4)) such steps, to be taken by P, as are set out in the direction.

(8) Where P is convicted of an offence under subsection (1), for the purposes of any
appeal, the following action is to be treated as a sentence—

(a) 20an order under subsection (2)(a) or (2)(b);

(b) any requirement imposed under subsection (5); and

(c) any direction given under subsection (7).

(9) Even where P is not so convicted, P may appeal to the magistrates’ court
against—

(a) 25any requirement so imposed under subsection (5), and

(b) any direction given under subsection (7).

8 Discharge or variation of dog control notice at instigation of local authority

(1) An appointing authority may at their own instigation, at any time other than
when an application under section 9 is pending, discharge or vary a dog
30control notice they are monitoring.

(2) On a dog control notice being discharged under subsection (1), the local
authority is to advise P accordingly.

9 Discharge or variation of dog control notice on application of person on
whom it was served

(1) 35P may apply at any time to the local authority which has the duty of enforcing
a dog control notice for the notice to be discharged or varied.

(2) An application under subsection (1) is to contain a written statement as to the
grounds on which the application is based.

(3) The grounds on which an application to discharge the order may be based
40are—

(a) that the dog to which the notice relates has died,

(b) that the dog is no longer out of control, or

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(c) that the circumstances are otherwise such that it would be
unreasonable not to discharge the order.

(4) Where the grounds on which the application is based include a change of
ownership of the dog, the statement must include the name and address of the
5person who has day-to-day charge of the dog at the current time.

(5) If the local authority declines to grant the application, P may by summary
application appeal to the court.

10 Prosecution

(1) A person guilty of an offence under section 2 of this Act shall be liable to one
10or more of the following—

(a) a control order which requires the person responsible for the dog to
comply with a control notice (where the person has not previously
complied);

(b) a disqualification order which disqualifies the person responsible for
15the dog from keeping dogs for a specified period of time;

(c) a deprivation order which removes custody of the dog from the person
responsible for it;

(d) a destruction order which stipulates that the dog in question must be
destroyed;

(e) 20on summary conviction other than for the aggravated offence,
imprisonment for a term not exceeding 51 weeks or a fine not exceeding
level 5 on the standard scale;

(f) on summary conviction for the aggravated offence, imprisonment for a
term not exceeding 51 weeks or a fine not exceeding the statutory
25minimum, or both; or

(g) on indictment for the aggravated offence, imprisonment for a term not
exceeding two years or a fine, or both.

(2) Where a deprivation order is made under subsection (1)(c) the court may
dispose of the dog—

(a) 30by selling or giving it to a person who will, in the court’s opinion, care
properly for the dog;

(b) by selling it or giving it to an establishment for the reception of stray
dogs; or

(c) by destroying it in a manner to cause as little pain as possible;

35but no dog seized under this section shall be sold or given for the purposes of
vivisection.

(3) In proceedings for an offence under section 2 of this Act, or failure to comply
with the provisions set out in a control notice, if the proceedings are against a
person who is the owner of a dog but was not at the material time in charge of
40it, it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that the dog was at the material
time in the charge of a person whom he reasonably believed to be a fit and
proper person to be in charge of it.

(4) Where an order is made under subsection (1)(d) for the destruction of a dog
owned by a person other than the offender, the owner may appeal to the
45Crown Court against the order.

(5) Disqualification under subsection (1)(b) disqualifies a person—

(a) from owning animals,

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(b) from keeping animals,

(c) from participating in the keeping of animals,

(d) from being party to an arrangement under which he is entitled to
control or influence the way in which animals are kept, and

(e) 5from dealing in animals.

11 Powers to seize and destroy dogs

(1) An officer of a police force or a local authority authorised by it to exercise the
powers conferred by this section may seize any dog which is subject to the
proceedings outlined in section 10.

(2) 10If a court is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds
for believing that an offence under any provision of this Act is being or has
been committed on any premises, the court may issue a warrant authorising a
constable to enter those premises, using such force as is necessary and to search
them and seize any dog or other thing found there which is evidence of the
15commission of such an offence.

(3) A court may issue a disposal order—

(a) by selling or giving it to a person who will, in the court’s opinion, care
properly for the dog;

(b) by selling it or giving it to an establishment for the reception of stray
20dogs; or

(c) by destroying it in a manner to cause as little pain as possible;

but no dog seized under this section shall be sold or given for the purposes of
vivisection.

(4) A court may issue a destruction order for the disposal of any dogs held prior
25to trial for prosecutions under section 10 of this Act if it is thought necessary to
protect the dog’s welfare.

(5) A court may issue a seizure order for non-compliance with a dog control order,
as set out in section 7.

12 Repeals

30The following Acts are repealed—

(a) the Dogs Act 1871;

(b) the Dangerous Dogs Act 1989;

(c) the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991;

(d) the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997.

13 35Short title, interpretation, commencement and extent

(1) This Act may be cited as the Dog Control Act 2010.

(2) In this Act—

  • “local authority” has the same meaning as in section 149 of the
    Environmental Protection Act 1990;

  • 40“public place” means any street, road or other place (whether or not
    enclosed) to which the public have or are permitted to have access
    whether for payment or otherwise and includes the common parts of a
    building containing two or more separate dwellings.

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(3) For the purposes of this Act, a dog shall be regarded as dangerously out of
control on any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable
apprehension that it will injure any person, whether or not it actually does so,
but references to a dog injuring a person or there being grounds for reasonable
5apprehension that it will do so do not include references to any case in which
the dog is being used for a lawful purpose by a constable or a person in the
service of the Crown or a person licensed by a body established by the Private
Security Industry Act 2001 or a person who complies with BS8517-1.

(4) For the purposes of this Act, a dog shall be regarded as having been involved
10in an attack if it has bitten, mauled or injured a person or another protected
animal.

(5) Any order made under this Act is to be made by statutory instrument and shall
not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and
approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

(6) 15This Act shall come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by
order made by statutory instrument appoint.

(7) This Act extends to England and Wales only.