London, Feb 11 (ANI): The Scottish Parliament is set to introduce a bill, which aims to "influence the behaviour of the dog owner in order to improve the behaviour of the dog".
The new bill will introduce dog Asbos to Scotland and passed its first hurdle in the parliament when Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) backed it unanimously.
This bill will replace the current Dangerous Dogs Act which MSPs agree is flawed because it criminalizes the breed and not the individual dog or owner.
It was introduced by Nationalist MSP Christine Grahamem, who is hoping to change the law on the control of dogs to try and keep a check on irresponsible owners.
The dog-control notices, dubbed "dog Asbos", would pave way for the councils to impose restrictions on owners who do not control their pets. Action against owners would also be taken if their dog is dangerously out of control in any place, including their home.
"Currently if a child is attacked in the dog's home, where it is permitted to be, the owner cannot be held legally responsible unless the dog is of a banned breed. Clearly this is wrong," the Scotsman quoted Grahame, as telling MSPs.
She said her proposals are not meant to penalise responsible dog owners but pointed out that there is a "growing problem" with irresponsible owners.
She added that about 600 dog attacks are now reported every year, which is nearly twice the number from a decade ago.
The Scottish Government and MSPs from around the chamber gave full support to the bill.
Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "There is a gap in the law that I think we recognise has to be addressed. Currently, a dog owner is only liable if their dog is dangerously out of control in a public place.
"We think it is right dog owners are held accountable for their dogs both in public and private, and we welcome this change."
He continued: "We believe the creation of a dog-control notice regime will help encourage dog owners to take responsibility for the actions of their dogs."
He said there is "poverty of information" about the number of dangerous dogs in Scotland but added that he did not expect "thousands and thousands" of orders.
Duncan McNeil, the convener of the local government committee that supports the bill, told MSPs: "A dog becomes dangerous, it is not born that way. The bill is about prevention and seeking to influence the behaviour of the dog owner in order to improve the behaviour of the dog." (ANI)