Dangerous Dogs Act: Dog welfare group warns owners that dog aggression in the home could now lead to prosecution

National Animal Welfare Trust says new guidelines will mean owners will need to be a lot more vigilant

Dog owners need to ensure that they have control over their pets at home as well as in public if they want to avoid prosecution, according to the animal welfare group the National Animal Welfare Trust.

The organisation has said that recent changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act Law mean that owners need to ensure that their dogs do not bite or display threatening behaviour towards people while in the home.

The warning comes after an amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act was brought in last week.

Before the amendment, dog owners could face criminal prosecution if their dog had displayed aggressive or threatening behaviour towards a person in a public place.

However, this has now been extended to private property, with dog owners in facing criminal prosecution even if their dogs commit the offences in their own home.

Every year 6000 people are injured through dog attacks with a large percentage occurring on private property.

Read more: Dog bite admissions to hospital three times higher in deprived areas

Of the 20 dog attack since 2005; 16 took place on private property.

Clare Williams CEO for the National Animal Welfare Trust said that owners now have to be a lot more careful about the way their animals act and consider how other people might react to their dog’s behaviour.

The law is also intended to protect postal workers too.

For years the Communication Workers Union has called for stricter laws against dogs to ensure greater protection for their members.

It is hoped the new law will lead to a reduction in the number of  attacks on postal workers, which currently stands at 2,100 a year.

Claire Williams said: “With the new laws, people need to be a lot more aware of how their dogs act around the front door.

"If your dog jumps up at people in a way that you feel is friendly, other people may not consider that to be friendly and that would need to be dealt with.”

The new law has been welcomed by other dog welfare groups.

Caroline Kisko, of The Kennel Club, said the amendment was designed to encourage better control of dogs, rather than prosecuting responsible owners whose pets may occasionally jump up.

The decision to extend prosecution to incidents that occur on private property coincides with other tougher dog laws brought in as part of the amended Dangerous Dogs Act.

Under the new law, owners whose dogs attack a person could face five years in jail - up from the previous maximum of two.

Owners whose dog kills someone could now go to prison for up to 14 years.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk
Nepal earthquake: One man's desperate escape from Everest base camp after the disaster

Escape from Everest base camp

Nick Talbot was sitting in his tent when the tsunami of snow and rock hit. He was lucky to live, unlike his climbing partner just feet away...
Adopting high fibre diet could dramatically cut risk of bowel cancer, says study

What happened when 20 Americans swapped diets with 20 Africans?

Innovative study in the US produces remarkable results
Blake Lively and 'The Age of Adaline': Gossip Girl comes
of age

Gossip girl comes of age

Blake Lively is best known for playing an affluent teenager. Her role as a woman who is trapped forever at 29 is a greater challenge
Goat cuisine: Kid meat is coming to Ocado

Goat cuisine

It's loved by chefs, ethical, low in fat and delicious. So, will kid meat give lamb a run for its money?
14 best coat hooks

Hang on: 14 best coat hooks

Set the tone for the rest of your house with a stylish and functional coat rack in the hallway
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?