Britain cracks down on unruly dogs, owners

March 9, 2010 at 11:01 AM

LONDON, March 9 (UPI) -- All dogs in Britain should have microchips and owners should be covered by insurance to pay for injuries from attacks, Home Secretary Alan Johnson said.

"People have a fundamental right to feel safe," said Johnson, a former postman who was bitten twice on his rounds.

The proposed initiatives would require dogs to be fenced in, muzzled or kept on a leash and owners would be required to attend a dog-handling course, Johnson said in a report co-authored by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.

The initiatives would make it illegal for a dog to be out of control in any place -- public or private, The Times of London reported Tuesday.

Nearly 100 people a week are treated in Britain for dog bites and the number of attacks has risen from 3,079 in 1997-98 to 5,221 last year. There's also been a twelfe-fold increase in dogfighting, said the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Alan Johnson
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to DNA cell repair pioneers
Priest suspended after defending pedophilia in TV interview
U.S. asks how Islamic State militants got so many Toyotas
At least 17 dead in Carolinas, more flooding expected
NASA releases thousands of Apollo mission photos on Flickr