Dundee City Council looks likely to back a tighter stance on dog controls being put forward by ministers in Holyrood.
Councillors will be asked later today to approve the council’s draft response to a consultation on proposed amendments to Scottish dog control laws.
In the response, the local authority gives its backing to the creation of an offence that would punish “obstructive” dog owners and to the introduction of a national dog control database that would allow councils to enforce actions all across Scotland, rather than just within their own area.
Dundee City Council has also indicated its support for giving officers the power to enter people’s homes and seize dangerous pets under mandated court orders, pending the animal’s destruction.
Its draft response also backs openly sharing information about dog control notices (DCNs) with locals, and fining those who breach such notices, such as by not complying with an order to muzzle their pets.
The council said: “We are aware of dogs with a current dog control notice either leaving our local authority area or arriving to our local authority area.
“Having a national dog control notice database will enable any movement to be recorded and should be set up so that the new local authority is automatically notified of any movement of a dog in to their area.”
The Scottish Government is consulting on changes that could be made to the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 in order to improve the enforcement actions carried out against irresponsible owners and their pets.
Powers introduced under the 2010 law aimed to shift responsibility for pet behaviour to owners, and to focus on “the deed, not the breed”. Councils were given the power to dispense DCNs against irresponsible owners through the legislation.
Critics of the act say it does not do enough to protect communities from dangerous animals, and that few dog control notices are actively enforced by councils due to a lack of resources.
It follows evidence heard by the Scottish Parliament’s public audit and post-legislative scrutiny (PAPLS) committee throughout 2018 and 2019.
PAPLS heard from victims of dog attacks and their relatives, including Dundee couple John and Veronica Lynch, whose daughter Kellie was savaged to death by Rottweilers in 1989.
Our Lady’s Primary pupil Kellie had been walking the pair of dogs on a holiday to Dunoon when they turned on her.
A total of 111 court proceedings have been launched against dog owners across Tayside and Fife since 2015, but only 49 led to convictions and 10 destruction orders were issued against brutish pets.