Owners of killer dogs could face life in prison

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The owners of dogs that kill people could soon face life in prison.

New government proposals for England and Wales are the focus of a consultation that will run until September 1.

Currently the maximum prison sentence for allowing a dog that attacks or kills someone to be dangerously out of control, is two years, and only covers attacks by dogs in public places and private areas where animals are prohibited from being, such as a neighbour’s garden or a park.

Under the plans, owners could also be prosecuted if their dog injures someone or acts aggressively in a private place where it is permitted to be, like the owner’s home.

There have been sixteen dog-related deaths in the UK since 2005, and RSPCA officials said tougher sentencing alone is not enough. The charity said more needs to be done to prevent attacks in the first place. It wants to see local council’s given powers to issue control notices and impose mandatory training on owners.

The survey on the amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act is being carried out by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Visit https://consult.defra.gov.uk/animal-health-and-welfare/dda_dog-attacks_sentences_survey to take part.