SCOTLAND'S Control of Dogs Act (2010) is not fit for purpose, an influential parliamentary committee has concluded.

The Scottish Parliament’s Public Accounts and Post Legislative Scrutiny Committee took an overarching look at all legislation on dogs, and took evidence from concerned bodies, including NFU Scotland, which highlighted the devastating impact that livestock worrying by dogs can have on farmers and crofters.

Based on that work, the committee concluded that –

  • Current dog control law is not fit for purpose and the Scottish Government needs to undertake a comprehensive review of all dog control legislation as a matter of urgency;
  • Current law is complex and not fit for purpose and should be consolidated;
  • The lack of implementation of a dog control notice (DCN) database must be rectified;
  • Data on out-of-control dogs and dog attacks should be specifically linked to the number of DCNs that have been issued and the resources available to each local authority.

NFUS fully endorsed the call for an 'urgent and comprehensive' review of legislation in this area, and supported the creation of a DCN database to track problem dogs. It also called for local authority dog wardens to be provided with additional resources and training to help tackle the blight of livestock worrying.

Commenting on the report, the head of the union's policy team, Gemma Cooper, said: “NFUS welcomes the findings of this report and I hope that Scottish Government will urgently consider a review of dog control legislation.

“During our long-running work on the issue of livestock worrying, and our ongoing #ControlYourDog campaign, we have become aware of many of the issues which this report outlines, including the problems caused by the absence of a database for Dog Control Notices and a lack of resources for dog wardens in local authorities.

“Along with other issues outlined in the report, we believe that these are crucial components for properly dealing with the horrendous problems that our industry still suffers due to the blight of livestock worrying.”

•The Public Accounts and Post Legislative Scrutiny Committee report can be read at: