Sentencing Council’s Dangerous Dogs Proposals Welcomed By Expert

Plans To Help Courts Exercise Their Power

15.12.2011

New plans to crack down to dog owners who fail to keep their pets under control and put others at risk have been welcomed by lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in dog bite claims.

Under the new guidelines proposed by the Sentencing Council, owners of banned dogs or animals which are dangerously out of control could be sentenced  to up to two years in prison.

The aim of the proposals is to give guidance to courts to exercise their powers and ensure that dog owners who put the public at risk should be sentenced in an appropriate manner.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist dog bites claims team act for victims who have suffered serious long-term physical and psychological trauma following dog attacks, including the families of young children left scarred by such incidents.

Katrina Elsey, a representative who specialises in such cases at the national law firm, said: “We have repeatedly called for new measures to be put in place to better protect the public from dangerous dogs.

“While many dog owners are conscientious and responsible, time and time again we have seen cases in which a small minority have failed to recognise risks and people have suffered serious physical and emotional injuries as a result.

“A dog attack can be hugely traumatic and leave victims with injuries from which they never fully recover, so it is only fair that such victims are able to gain the justice they deserve and irresponsible owners are held to account.

“It is vital that the government carefully considers these plans and take important steps towards reducing the number of dog attacks in the UK year-on-year.”