New powers introduced today (Tuesday 13 May 2014) sees the legislation extended to include all private property. This means that for the first time dog owners will no longer be immune from prosecution if their dog attacks somebody in the home.
The maximum sentence for the owner of a dog who kills somebody has been raised from two years to 14 years. If a person is injured from a dog attack the owner faces up to five years imprisonment.
The change in legislation will also provide additional protection to people who visit homes offering essential services, including health visitors, postal staff and utility workers. The change in legislation does not protect trespassers.
Attacks on assistance dogs have also been recognised in the new legislation and will be subject to a maximum sentence of three years.
The changes to legislation have been introduced just over a year since the tragic death of Jade Lomas Anderson who died on 26 March 2013 after she was attacked by dogs in Atherton, Wigan.