New proposals will help dog attack victims

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New proposals will help dog attack victims

10th March 2010

Dog owners may have to take out insurance against their pet attacking members of the public under new proposals to tackle dangerous breeds, it was reported today. The Government has unveiled the plans in response to concerns about the use of animals to intimidate or threaten people.

With more than one hundred victims admitted to hospital each week following dog attacks in Britain - the increase in so-called 'status dogs' thought to be responsible for most of these - a government consultation was launched to consider the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act.

"The legislation brought in almost 20 years ago banned the ownership of four types of dangerous dogs," said Martyn Hughes, solicitor with Fentons Solicitors LLP experienced in dealing with injuries caused by aggressive dogs. "As well as making it illegal to own or breed pit bull terriers, the Japanese tosa, the dogo Argentino and the fila Brasileiro, the law gave police the power to deal with any dog that became out of control in a public place.

"However, if a dog causes an injury on private property - such as in someone's home or garden - as opposed to a public place then it is not covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. These new proposals will give police greater powers to remove dangerous dogs," said Martyn, an associate with the firm.

"This, coupled with owners being obliged to take out insurance against such incidents, will increase the likelihood of dog attack victims being able to successfully pursue a claim should they be injured.

"As well as giving members of the public an easier route to pursue if they are attacked by a dog, this new amendment would offer protection to postal workers, police officers, firemen, people delivering newspapers, milkmen, household engineers and other people whose work takes them on to private land," he said. "Similarly, it would also apply to any children who was attacked on private land, such as in the garden of a friend or neighbour's home."

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to injuries sustained in dog attacks. If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Source - BBC, Sky News