Dog Walkers,  Industry News,  Lead

MP puts forward bill to tackle dog-on-dog attacks

MP for Southend West Anna Firth has told Parliament that the law should be changed so that the owner responsible in a fatal dog-on-dog attack can be held criminally responsible.

Firth put forward her 10-minute rule bill in the House of Commons this week that she said would implement the change if enacted and would also require police forces to record dog-on-dog attacks.

She said her Animal Welfare (Responsibility for Dog Attacks) Bill would amend the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to require a person in charge of a dog to take “all reasonable steps” to ensure their animal does not fatally injure another dog.

She told Parliament: “Only 14 police forces currently record a dog-on-dog attack as a separate incident. However, of that 14, in 2016, there were 1,700 dog-on-dog attacks reported and recorded.

“Since lockdown, with everyone buying their Covid-19 pandemic puppies, the numbers have skyrocketed. In 2021, the same 14 police forces recorded 11,559 dog-on-dog attacks, a 700% increase.”

Firth said: “Plainly it is not the dogs that are the problem. Dogs have owners, and every dog owner has a responsibility to ensure their dog does not fatally attack another one.”

She added: “The Bill will also compel local police forces to record dog-on-dog attacks as separate offences so that finally the full scale of these awful offences can be seen and counted.”


  • Tom Holloway

    Dog ownership is up 34% but councils keep restricting where dogs can be walked and putting in festivals etc forcing dogs into a smaller concentration of land or not walked for those who can’t travel to a new space. Behaviour problems and dog attacks will increase if councils do not ensure there is adequated land to get their needs met safely.

    *Along with education on breed choice, socialisation and training.

  • Sara Barnes

    The statistics here are shocking and unfortunately there are dog owners who don’t seem to think it’s not their responsibility to sort out their dog if it goes for another dog.
    I walk a rather antisocial Shar-pei who I know is not comfortable around other dogs. I do everything within my power to maintain a safe distance between him and other dogs at all times. He is never off the lead in a public space. That is me taking responsibility for his safety and the safety of other dogs when we are out and about.

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