Laws for dogs – are you up to date?

Most of us know the laws that apply to ourselves or our cars, but are you up to date on the laws for your pooch?

Whether it’s to keep your dog safe, keep others safe or avoid a hefty fine, doggy laws are worth reading up on, because more than you may think relate to the everyday woof on the street. We’ve picked out a few that you may not be aware of…

The Control of Dogs Order 1992:

According to the kennel club this mandates that “any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address of the owner engraved or written on it or on a tag” (https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/8277/law.pdf). There are some exceptions to this order, including the following:

  • Any dog registered with the guide dogs for the blind association.
  • Any dog while being used in emergency rescue work.
  • Any dog while being use on official duties by a member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, HM Customs and Excise or the police.
  • Any dog while being used for driving or tending cattle or sheep.
  • Any dog while being used for the capture or destruction of vermin.
  • Any dog while being used for sporting purposes.
  • Any pack of hounds.

Dog (Protection of Livestock) act 1953:

This 1953 act means your dog must not “worry (chase or attack) livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses and poultry) on agricultural land” (https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/8277/law.pdf) so be sure to keep your dog on a lead around livestock. This is a particularly important one to know (especially if you walk you dog in a rural setting) as the farmer has the right to stop your dog by any means, including shooting in certain circumstances.

Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare Act) 1999:

In England and Ireland, if you breed five or more litters per year then you must be licensed by your local authority. The rules in Wales are even tighter and require you to be licensed for more than three litters. Breeders with fewer litters must also be licensed if they are carrying out a business of breeding dogs for sale. Licensed breeders must:

  • Not mate a bitch less than 12 months old.
  • Not whelp more than six litters from a bitch.
  • Not whelp two litters within a 12 month period from the same bitch.
  • Keep accurate records.
  • Not sell a puppy until it is at least eight weeks of age, other than to a keeper of a licensed pet shop of Scottish rearing establishment.

Compulsory Micro Chipping of Dogs:

According the kennel club doggy law guide “it is now a legal requirement to have your dog micro chipped in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. All dogs must be micro chipped by the time they are eight weeks of age. All breeders will need to microchip their puppies and register themselves as the first keeper of the puppy, before they are transferred to a new keeper” (https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/8277/law.pdf).

If you’re getting a new puppy then you are responsible for updating the microchip with their details i.e. the name you give them. Failure to comply with the regulations could result in a fine of up to £500 in England, Wales and Scotland.

Road Traffic Act 1988:

There are lots of different solutions to travelling safely with you dog in the car from travel crates to doggy seatbelts. It’s a good idea to have a think about which option suits your dog and your lifestyle best as, according to the road traffic act of 1998 “dogs travelling in vehicles should not be a nuisance or in any way distract the driver during a journey” (https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/8277/law.pdf).

If the worst should happen and a dog is injured in a car accident, then the driver must stop and give their details to the person in charge of the dog. If there is no person in charge of the dog, then they must report the incident to the police within 24 hours.

You know the laws on the road, you know the laws on the street, why not know the laws of the kennel too?

Keeping you and your pup healthy and happy is important, but keeping safe and legal is essential. So, wander the countryside or drive the roads with your hound and know both of your rules and rights to keep safe.

Did you learn something new by reading this? Are there other doggy laws which you think we should share with our readers? Please add them in the comments below and help out a fellow dog owner.