Animals and the Law
There are certain laws and regulations that affect all dog owners as well as anyone who is in charge of or caring for a dog temporarily. It’s important as a hostel that you familiarise yourself with these laws so that you can ensure your residents comply with them.
The main laws affecting dog owners are summarised below but this is not an exhaustive list.
The Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) 1991 makes it a criminal offence for anyone to have possession of certain types of dog, including the Pit Bull Terrier. The Act also states that it is an offence for any dog to be dangerously out of control. There is further information on the DDA on the government’s website www.gov.uk.
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 places a Duty of Care on anyone who owns or cares for a dog. All dog owners must provide their pet with adequate food and fresh drinking water, somewhere suitable to live, proper exercise and access to veterinary treatment.
The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that all dogs must wear a collar with the owner’s name and address written on it, or on a disc attached to it, when in a public place. It is also advisable for the telephone number of the keeper to be displayed. Any dog seen without a collar in public may be seized by the local authority and treated as a stray.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the laws relating to dogs are different. For more information, please visit:
Scotland – www.scotland.gov.uk
Northern Ireland - www.nidirect.gov.uk