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.