Plans to introduce compulsory micro-chipping for all dogs was welcomed today by Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds.
The PCC wrote to the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in January, concerned at the rising number of attacks on guide dogs by other dogs. Today, in a statement, Secretary of State Owen Paterson MP said the Government proposes increased maximum penalties for dog attacks.
A 14 year prison sentence has been proposed if a person dies as a result of a dog attack. A five year prison sentence if a person is injured by a dog attack and a three year sentence if an assistance dog either dies or is injured by a dog attack.
Both the UK and Welsh governments have announced measures to require the micro-chipping of all dogs by April 2016.
Parliament will now consider the proposals and, if agreed, they should come into force next year following Royal Assent of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill.
Commissioner Simmonds said: “One of the first things I did when I came into office was, on behalf of Guide Dogs for the Blind, express my concern about these attacks on guide dogs.
“This is very welcome news as during 2011 and 2012 there were 183 guide dogs attacked, costing the Guide Dogs charity in the region of £200,000.
“Compulsory micro-chipping for all dogs will assist the police in tracing dangerous dogs and their owners and will enable them to take swift and effective enforcement action against them.”