Dogs and Law

By Becky Baker

Part of being a responsible dog owner is making sure you adhere to the laws and regulations surrounding dog ownership. Many new dog owners don’t even realise there are specific laws relating to what you can and can’t do with your four-legged friends so we have put together this useful guide of some of the main things you need to be aware of.

Registration & MicroChipping

As of April 2016 is it mandatory for all dogs over the age of 8 weeks in the UK to be microchipped. Exemptions are available if a vet believes there is a valid health reason not to microchip a dog but they must provide a certificate of exemption in this instance. Owners who do not get their dog microchipped and registered with an approved database face a fine of up to £500 if caught.

Relevant Law: Law: Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015, Microchipping of Dogs (Wales) Regulations 2015

Dogs on Leads

It’s important to remember that different local authorities can have varying rules and regulations but in general there is no rule that says dogs have to be on a lead at all times in public places.

What there are in place however are a series of orders that mean you have to leash your dog in certain types of places such as children’s play areas, sports pitches, roads, parks, and beaches. People not adhering to these orders can be subject to fines or fixed penalty notices. It’s worth mentioning that some local authorities have gone to the extent of bringing in Public Spaces Protection Orders which prevent dogs from being in certain areas full stop!! If in doubt it’s always worth checking their website.

Relevant Law: Road Traffic Act 1988, section 27; Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

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