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Government ‘Action On Dog Ownership’ Welcomed By Experts

Lawyer Says Serious Injury From Dog Attacks Is ‘Disturbingly Common’


Reports that the Government is considering new measures to reduce dog attacks and encourage better ownership have been welcomed by animal bite experts at Irwin Mitchell, following a spate of serious incidents which have put the issue firmly in the spotlight.

Environment minister Lord Taylor revealed in a response to a question in the House of Lords that a range of new measures, including compulsory microchipping of dogs in order to improve the tracing of owners, are currently being considered by the government.

News of the decision has come as the issue of dog attacks continues to dominate headlines across the UK, as an 83-year-old man from West London died after being attacked by a dog at the end of January.

In addition, the sentencing of a 56-year-old man in relation to a dog attack in Chingford last month which left a six-year-old girl with serious neck and shoulder injuries is to take place on Monday (February 13th).

Irwin Mitchell’s animal bites team acts for victims of dog attacks across the UK who have been left with serious long-term physical and psychological damage as a result of the incidents.

David Urpeth, a Partner at the national law firm who specialises in the area, said: “We have long campaigned for the government to take serious steps towards improving regulations in an effort to make it easier to identify dangerous dogs and their owners.

“The suggestions that the Government is seriously looking at compulsory microchipping is a huge step forward on this issue which shows a determination to encourage and promote responsible ownership of dogs.

“Recent reports and the many cases we deal with show that serious dog attacks remain disturbingly common throughout the UK, with victims and the families of those killed in such attacks needing long-term care and support to cope with the ordeals they have endured.

“It is clear that an urgent response is needed on this issue and we hope that these plans will have a major impact.”

David added that further steps on top of microchipping should be considered in order to make further strides in tackling the issue of irresponsible dog ownership.

“While better identification would undoubtedly help on this issue, we believe other measures should also on the government’s agenda – such as the introduction of compulsory insurance for dog owners. This could also prove vital to ensuring people can gain justice over what they have faced.

“Many dog owners are considerate in terms of looking after their pets, but sadly this is not always the case and it is vital that those who fail to act responsibly can be held to account in a proper manner.”