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Groups attend summit on dogs

A SUMMIT on responsible dog ownership has considered ways to better protect the public from dangerous dogs.

The Edinburgh event was hosted by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and brought together organisations including Police Scotland, the Dogs Trust, Guide Dogs Scotland, the Kennel Club, local authorities and the Scottish SPCA.

The event was announced by First Minister Alex Salmond in December after he met with the parents of victims of dog attacks.

Mr MacAskill said: "We have laws in place to help protect the public from dangerous dogs, including tough new powers for local authorities to impose dog control orders on out-of- control dogs. We want to ensure that local authorities make use of those powers."

The Scottish Government is consulting on measures such as compulsory microchipping until the end of the month, seeking views on whether more can be done to ensure people are properly protected and to promote responsible dog ownership.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead, who also attended the summit, said that microchipping can help deal with stray animals and reinforce the responsibility of dog owners for their pets.

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