Dog owners using harness instead of collar risk massive fine and jail time

Dog owners who choose to use a harness instead of a leash on walks could be breaking the law if their dog does not wear a collar with an ID tag.

This is because it is illegal to walk your dog in public without a tag with your information on it, and in extreme circumstances, it could result in a hefty fine or even jail time.

Many owners choose to use a harness on a leash, especially owners of small dogs, as breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers can have health issues from a collar and leash pressing down on their windpipes. .

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But those who walk their dogs without a proper identification tag as well as a harness can now be sentenced to six months in prison and an unlimited fine.

The Dog Control Act 1992 for Scotland and England states that a dog must wear a collar with the name and address of the owner.

Those who break the rules are considered guilty of a violation of the Animal Health Act 1981, which is “punishable on summary conviction with a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale” .

A level 5 fine was previously capped at a maximum of £ 5,000, but this was changed in March 2015.



Some owners choose harnesses over collars and leashes because of the health issues they can cause in small dogs.

A DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) spokesperson told TeamDogs: “For crimes committed after March 13, 2015, level 5 has been removed and all criminal penalties expressed. as summarily liable to a fine of up to £ 5,000 or more, or expressed as a level 5 fine, are now liable to a fine of any amount (ie unlimited).

“This is because of section 85 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Suppression of Offenders Act, 2012.

“Therefore, the maximum penalty for summary conviction will be up to six months imprisonment and / or an unlimited fine. “

However, significantly lower fines are usually imposed on dog owners who break this law.



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In 2018, a Cocker Spaniel that was recovered without a collar near Sapcote in southwest Leicestershire fined its owner £ 50, with additional costs of £ 50 and a victim surcharge of £ 30 for acknowledging the ‘offense.

Owners should also be aware that their zip code must be included on their dog’s collar or tag, but you are not required by law to include your phone number.

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