UK: Legal powers to stop dogs causing distress to others including chasing cats
Your neighbour keeps dogs and they bark incessantly causing you distress. Your neighbour is a complete pain-in-the-butt. Starting Monday 20th October 2014, in the UK, you can do something about it.
New laws coming into force, Monday, will give powers to the police, local authorities and social housing landlords to issue a community protection notice which forces dog owners to take preventative action if their dog is chasing someone’s cat or for that matter behaving in a way which causes distress or damage in any way.
The test whether a dog owner receives a notice is whether the dog’s behaviour is having a persistent and unreasonable ‘detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality’.
The concept is to take preventative measures; to force irresponsible dog owners to make sure their dogs are under control and not endangering people, peoples’ property or their pets. This is a different concept to the Dangerous Dogs Act which targets certain dog breeds and brands them as dangerous.
Another classically distressing example of dog behaviour is when a dog bites someone without reason or even growls at people and frightens them. About 2 years ago a small terrier lunged at me as I walked past him. He bit me on the knee. I still have the scar and my trousers were ruined. The dog was on a lead with two other dogs on their leads. All three being accompanied by a women who had no control over them. That would be a good example of the kind of behaviour that the new ‘Canine ASBO’ is designed for. ‘ASBO’ means Anti-social Behaviour Order.
The new powers come from the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
These new notices also provide powers to ban dog owners from taking their dogs to schools and play areas, to repair fencing, clean dog kennels and install a letter cage to protect postmen. These are just a selection of possible orders.
This law should please and help Ruth and Babz as for some time they have had to put up with persistent barking by neighbours’ dogs. Often neighbours whose dogs cause distress are stubborn, unreasonable, rude and obstructive. In fact they are often unpleasant people who don’t care about the consequences of their actions and are unsympathetic towards others who complain and worse.
Now people who felt at a lose as to what to do to stop dogs causing misery can take positive steps which have real force to improve their lives. I suppose the only hurdle will be to convince the local authority or police that there is a genuine problem. The key will be to get evidence in video. You can’t beat good video and all cameras these days can create videos.
Fines up to £2,500 are available if an order is broken by the person served with the notice. If a guard dog business is served a notice and breaks it the fine can be as high as £20,000.
Photo (modified by Michael) by chefjancris