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Owners of killer dogs now face life sentences

Posted in: Animal Attacks Wrongful & Accidental Death 

After new proposals have been put forward in England and Wales, the owner of a dog, which has attacked and killed, will face a life sentence in prison. This newly suggested sentence will replace the max 2 year imprisonment that dangerous dog owners currently face.

The government proposal includes numerous sentencing options for a fatal dog attack, ranging from five years to a life sentence. However, following a recent rise in dog attacks, the RSPCA argue that more should still be done.

  • There have been sixteen dog attack deaths in the UK since 2005 
  • 6,447 people were admitted to hospital for dog bites between 2011 and 2012 (this is a 5.2% rise on the previous 12 months)
  • Of those 6,447 people, the ‘under 10’ category accounted for the highest rate of hospital admissions – 1,040 in the last 12 months
  • If historical data is to be accepted, there has been a 551% increase in dog-related hospital admissions in the last two decades
  • For every 1 million A&E treatments, there are 366 hospital admissions for dog bites

The Dangerous Dog Act 1991 only currently covers dog attacks that have occurred in public places, or private places in which dogs are prohibited, for example a neighbour’s garden. However, a government consultation regarding the new proposals also aims to look at ways of extending these judicial boundaries, in an attempt to protect all dog attack victims with the law.

If you have sustained an injury due to a dog attack, and are looking to claim compensation, please contact us


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