The owners of dangerous dogs are set for stronger sentences under new guidelines from the Sentencing Council.
The new guidelines – that were announced in May – have just come into force. They look set to result in more offenders serving time in prison and undergoing community based services.
Owners of a dangerous dog that injures another person could now face 6 to 18 months jail time. The punishment for unlicensed ownership of a prohibited breed has now been set to 6 months in prison. Prohibited breeds include Pitbull Terriers, Dogo Argentinos, Fila Brazillieros, and Japanese Tosas.
The new guidelines have been given to judges and magistrates across England and Wales. The new guidelines coincide with a rise in people convicted of offences in regards to dangerous dogs.
As well as possibly facing stiffer sentences, people that are held responsible after their dog has been found to injure another could also face a dog attack compensation claim being made against them. Other claimants could possibly seek compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, as deliberately setting a dog on a person is now likely to be treated as assault.