'Out of control' dog numbers on increase

THE number of "out of control" dogs reported to councils across the west of Scotland has increased.

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Local authorities have seen an increase in out-of-control dog reports
Local authorities have seen an increase in out-of-control dog reports

Local authorities have the power to issue Dog Control Notices ordering owners to muzzle dogs, keep them on a lead or attend training courses.

Figures show that the notices handed out by councils in the Greater Glasgow have risen along with the number of investigations carried out by council officers.

The Scottish Government statistics show 11 local authorities in West of Scotland - including Glasgow City Council, North and South Lanarkshire, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire councils and East and West Dunbartonshire - issued 24 dog control notices between February 27, 2012 and 26 February, 2013. This is compared to 20 in the previous year.

In addition to this, the councils also carried out 296 investigations between February 27, 2012 and February 26, 2013 - a rise from 219 the previous year.

Calls for tougher laws to tackle dangerous dogs and stop children being mauled have been backed by campaigners and local politicians.

And the Scottish Government is currently consulting on plans for compulsory micro-chipping and muzzling.

Following shocking cases of children being mauled - including eight-year-old Broagan McCuaig from Garthamlock who was attacked by American Bulldogs near her home last October - the First Minister has promised to hold a summit in March to discuss the issue of dangerous dogs with input from local authorities, police and victims groups.

Across Scotland in 2012/13, police dealt with 67 cases of dangerous dogs, 945 instances of people failing to keep their dog under control, and 13 cases dogs bred for fighting.

Dog breeds causing concern include Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, Fila Braziliero.

But the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010, gives councils the power to issue a Dog Control Notice (DCN) to those in charge of any breed of dog when its behaviour is deemed to be "out of control".

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said the authority would step in and investigate following a report from a member of the public. In 2012/13 the city council carried out five investigations and issued one DCN, compared to 12 investigations and one notice the previous year.

He added: "The conditions can be varied, but could include requiring the owner to muzzle a dog in public, keep it on a lead or attend a training course - this would depend on what the problematic or out of control behaviour was."

Local government

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