Holyrood committee to review effectiveness of dog control law

Written by Jenni Davidson on 3 July 2018 in News

The Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee is seeking feedback on the Control of Dogs Act

A black dog with a purple collar - Image credit: m01229 via Flickr

A Holyrood committee is to review the effectiveness of a dog control law, following concerns about a rise in the number of dog attacks in Scotland.

The number of people receiving treatment for dog bites rose 4.5 per cent in a year from 1,939 in 2015 to 2,027 in 2016.

The Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee will look at how councils are fulfilling their duties under the 2010 Control of Dogs Act and whether enforcement actions such as dog control notices have worked in preventing irresponsible dog ownership.

As well as feedback on the effectiveness of the act and how well local authorities are carrying out their duties, the committee also wants to hear feedback on whether the act has any weaknesses and any challenges for local authorities in carrying out the requirements.

Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee convener Jenny Marra said the act was right to recognise that “responsibility rests with dog owners to ensure their pets pose no risk to the public”.

She said: “Our committee wants to hear a wide range of views on whether the act has been effective in reducing the number of out of control dogs.

“We want to know how well local authorities are carrying out their duties under the act, and whether the public believe legislation can and should be strengthened to prevent dog attacks in the future.”

The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 was a member’s bill introduced in the Scottish Parliament by SNP MSP Christine Grahame in June 2009.

The deadline for written submissions to the committee is 5 October 2018.

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