The government has announced that from April 2016, all dogs in England will have to be micro chipped as part of an attempt to cut the number of strays and make pet owners more responsible for their animals.
New police powers have also been announced, that extend the laws on dog attacks to cover incidents on private property. Currently, if a dog injures someone on private land the owner escapes prosecution,although the injured person can still claim compensation from the dog owner in certain circumstances.
Since 2005, eight children and six adults have been killed in dog attacks in the UK, most of which happen in private homes. Over 3,000 postal workers have been attacked during the past year, with 70% of these attacks taking place on private property.
It is believed that the police will also have the authority to decide whether a dog which is subject to court proceedings needs to be kept apart from its owners until the outcome. Previously, all dogs had to be kept in kennels until the court case had ended, even if they did not pose a risk to the public.
These changes will give victims of dog attacks more rights and protection. Even without these changes, however,if you have been injured in an animal attack you may be entitled to compensation and in those circumstances our specialist personal injury team can advise you on what steps to take.