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Salmond to bring in measures to prevent dog attacks

Universal ­microchipping, licensing and wearing muzzles in public areas are measures being considered to improve safety around dangerous dogs.

The suggestions are up for discussion in a new government consultation, launched after the First Minister met with a group of parents whose children were attacked by dogs.

The Scottish Government says it is in favour of microchipping which will allow authorities to quickly ­identify owners and hold them accountable for their dog's behaviour.

This system is used in Northern Ireland, France, Canada and Denmark.

Requiring owners to gain a licence and put a muzzle on their dogs in public are being considered, but the Government says it is not in favour of enforcing muzzles.

First Minister Alex Salmond met the parents of Broagan McCuaig, eight, and Sophia Bell, four, to hear about the effect being attacked by dogs had on the children and the family.

Veronica Lynch, who lost her 11-year-old daughter Kellie in an attack in 1989, was also at the meeting.

Mr Salmond said: "Irresponsible dog ownership can affect our communities in different ways, from dog fouling contaminating local parks and children's play areas through to dangerous and out-of-control dogs leading to people being attacked.

"I was grateful for the opportunity to hear directly from the parents of children who were attacked by dangerous dogs."

Government ministers will meet with councils, police, prosecutors and victims' groups in the new year to discuss the matter.

Under the Control of Dogs Act introduced in 2011, local authorities have power to issue dog control notices to owners, which requires their dog to be microchipped.

In the first two years of the law, around 240 such notices were issued.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

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