Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Thursday, 22 April 2010 17:29 UK

'Dog Asbo' legislation approved by MSPs

A pit bull terrier in a muzzle
The new legislation would focus on the "deed and not the breed" of dogs

MSPs have passed new legislation which will introduce "dog Asbos".

The vote came after a Scottish Parliament debate on the Control of Dogs Bill, which has been put forward by MSP Christine Grahame.

The new law gives councils greater powers to impose penalties, with a focus on the "deed and not the breed" of the dog.

Concerns have been expressed about the costs of the proposed scheme and a potential rise in the number of strays.

Under the new legislation, more responsibility will be placed on the owners of badly-behaved dogs.

Jane Elliot with her son Mark and her daughter Leah
Jane Elliot backs the bill after her daughter Leah was attacked by a dog

Owners who fail to comply with the dog control notices could be forced to keep their pet on a lead at all times, have it neutered, attend special training courses or face a fine of up to £1,000.

The bill is backed by Jane Elliott, 33, whose 22-month-old daughter Leah Nelson was badly injured last week by a dog known to have made violent attacks in the past.

She said: "The dog must have just got the arm, thrown her down and broke the arm.

"It turned the top half of her arm 360 degrees so it was shattered."

Supporters of the bill say it would reduce the number of such dog attacks.

The legislation, which was backed in principle by the local government committee earlier in the year, aims to modernise the existing "piecemeal" rules and regulations.



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