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Tougher sentencing 'not enough' for irresponsible owners

Tuesday, 15th May 2012

Tougher sentences for irresponsible owners with dangerous dogs are "not enough" to stop attacks alone, a charity has said.

New guidelines mean that owners can be sentenced to 18 months in prison if their dog harms others in public places.

Courts will also be encouraged to ban irresponsible owners from keeping dogs and they will be able to put down dogs that are actually dangerous.

Steve Goody, Blue Cross director of external affairs, said: "Blue Cross welcomes a tougher approach to the prosecution of irresponsible dog owners but tougher sentencing alone is not enough to prevent dog attacks occurring.

"We feel that there is an urgent need for preventative action or dog attacks will continue to increase."

He added that the introduction of practical measures could help prevent attacks and ensure irresponsible owners will know their behaviour is unacceptable.

It is hoped that the new guidelines will mean more offenders are jailed and given community orders.