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What Happens When a Dog Bite Is Reported in UK? Explained!

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Author: Jacob Kay

Have you ever been bitten by a dog or heard of a dog attack? We all are well aware of dog bites and dog attacks but what should be done if a dog ever bites you? Be it a dog owner or a dog bite victim you need to be well aware of the rules and regulation in order to either tackle the situation or prevent it.

What Happens When a Dog Bite Is Reported in UK?

Here in this blog, “What happens when a dog bite is reported in UK?” we will try to provide you with sufficient information regarding rules prevailing in the UK

So if you are leaving in UK and ever face this situation you will be well aware of the legal procedures.

How To Report a Dog Bite in the UK?

Here are the steps to follow if to report a dog bite in the UK:

How To Report a Dog Bite in the UK?

Report the incident:

If you have been bitten by the dog you can report the incident to police. You can either call 101 or report the incident on their website. As an action to your report, the police will either fine the owner or seize the dog.

Inform the local council:

You can even report the incident to the council dog warden service. The council will further take strict action against the dog owner and can issue a court order against him. They will also further investigate the matter and check if anyone else has also been attacked by the dog or not.

Gather the evidence and witness:

You can even demand compensation from the dog owner. But in order to get the compensation you need to prove your claims and for that you might need evidence and witnesses.

Not only for compensation but even for reporting the dog bite you may need the evidence. Try contacting the people present at the place of the incident and gather some support for all your claims.

Contact solicitor:

Contacting a solicitor can help you as they are the experts in settling the dog bite claims. They will not only provide you with legal advice but will also but will also suggest further procedures regarding the negotiation and claim settlement.

The Legal Consequences of a Dog Bite

If a dog bites someone then the owner might have to face the legal consequences and it vary on the basis of the severity of the bite.

The Legal Consequences of a Dog Bite

For the owner:

If the victim reports the dog bite then the owner might land in legal trouble. The owner can be sentenced, and charged with fines up to £1,000 and in most cases the dog can be taken in custody too.

The owner may even be required to pay compensation to the victim or strict actions can be taken against them.

As per Christine Borges's mention in petmd, "Dog bites are, unfortunately, a risk of pet parenting. Even if your dog has never shown signs of aggression, there’s always a chance that something might trigger them to react with their teeth. While that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a dangerous dog, there are still strict liabilities, and the dog bite victim might want you to cover their medical expenses."

For the victim:

The victim may be required to prove the owner’s negligence in order to make the claims and get compensation. The victim can even demand medical expenses from the owner owing to the severity of the injuries.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

“The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991”[1], was passed to safeguard people from the aggressive and dangerous dog breed. This law was applicable to every citizen of England, Wales and Scotland. Here are some features of this law:

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
  • Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa and Fila Brasileiro were banned under this act. A strict prohibition on owning, breeding and selling these four breeds was enforced.
  • This act gave the authorities the liberty to restrict any other dog breed if they seemed to be dangerous and aggressive.
  • Under this act, if your dog goes out of control in either a public or private place then the owner or person in charge will be punished. The punishment includes a fine, sentence, ban on owning a dog and in the worst cases even the destruction of the dog.
  • This act grants the dog attack victim the right to claim compensation from the dog owner. To reduce the false claims the victim needs to prove the negligence of the dog owner.
  • This act lays several guidelines that need to be followed like muzzling the dog, keeping the dog under control, reporting the dog attack and seeking the guidance of a solicitor.

Cons of the, “The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991”:

  • The act neglects the causes of aggressive behaviour in dogs. The dog may be aggressive due to several reasons from not being properly trained to improper management.
  • Even after the application of this law, there was no decrease in the dog attack case.
  • Even if one dog of a particular breed was involved in an attack this act banned the entire breed.

How To Prevent Dog Bites?

Here are some tips to prevent dog bites:

  • Dog bites can be prevented by understanding the dog’s behaviour and triggers. Training, and socializing your dog can help with controlling your dog and making him more people-friendly. If loud noises and unfamiliar people and places trigger your dog avoid taking them there.
  • Never approach any dog directly. Dogs are the most lovable animals. They attracts the crowd towards them but this is not the right thing to do. Before approaching any pet for that matter always seek their owner’s permission.
  • If you are bitten by a dog then wash and clean the wound by applying pressure. Consult a doctor immediately for rabies vaccine.

FAQs

Should dog bites be reported to the Police UK?

Reporting a dog bite to the police in the UK depends upon several factors. If the dog is banned, or if the person is severely injured then they may report a dog bite to police in the UK. Normally people settle the matter internally without any involvement of police or any other authority.

Who is liable for a dog bite UK?

A dog owner is liable for a dog bite in the UK. it is the owner’s responsibility to look after the dog and make sure he doesn’t cause any harm to people. The owner is well aware of the dog’s characteristics and behaviour and thus should not bring the aggressive dog in public places.

Can I be sued if my dog bites someone UK?

Yes, you can definitely be sued if your dog bites someone in the UK. According to the law dog is the owner’s responsibility. It is duty of owner to look after their dog and make sure he is well-behaved in public places.

What happens when a dog bite is reported in UK?

After a dog bite if the victim files a complaint against the dog owner then there are chances of legal action being taken against you and if your dog belongs to the banned category then you may land in an even more serious problem.

How long do you have to report a dog bite UK?

How long you have to report a dog bite in the UK depends upon various factors if the bite causes you pain and injury then you have 24 hours to report the dog bite. If you prove the owner’s negligence behind the dog bite then you have 3 years of time to make the settlement.

Conclusion

We hope that through this blog, “What happens when a dog bite is reported in UK?” we successfully satisfied your queries and provided you with well-researched information. Dogs are friendly creatures but it is better to avoid meeting them directly without analysing their body language.

Rules are there to help you but it is your moral duty to take proper precautions to avoid such discomfort.

Reference:

  1. Dickinson, J., & Bleasdale, L. (2015). Dangerous Dogs Law: barking up the wrong tree? Shu.
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About
Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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