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Dog ownership proposals revealed

Tuesday March 9th 2010

The Government has announced a number of proposals designed to reduce the risk of people being attacked by dogs.

Dog owners may need to take out third party insurance against the risk of their pet attacking someone.

And as pets become a more expensive commodity, those working in the pet insurance industry can also expect a rise in business.

The proposals put forward by the Government mean dogs may also need to be microchipped.

And in a further move, ministers are considering introducing Dog Control Notices, or 'dogbos', which would allow police and council officials to force owners to muzzle or leash their pets.

The measures, part of proposed changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act, are aimed at tackling the growing problem of vicious animals being bred for use as weapons.

Ministers are also considering making it a criminal offence for a dog owner to allow their animal to be "dangerously out of control".

Currently, they are only breaking the law if the dog is out of control in a public place.

The change would extend the law to private residences, and could provide extra protection for postmen.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said: "The vast majority of dog owners are responsible, but there is no doubt that some people breed and keep dogs for the sole purpose of intimidating others, in a sense using dogs as a weapon."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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