I was surprised to read recently that there have been an increase in the number of reported attacks by illegal pit bull terriers over the last year causing in or around a dozen owners to be reported under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Amongst those numbers were reported attacks by four pit bull terriers which are banned in terms of the above Act, however, Staffordshire bull terriers were involved in seven cases, albeit, quite surprisingly, not banned under the aforementioned Act. In total, 57 cases were reported to the Scottish SPCA occurring in Lothian & Borders over the last year. However, it is estimated that at least 45 of those 57 cases are due to irresponsible owners not keeping their dog under control.
In Scotland, under the Animals (Scotland) Act 1987, if you are bitten by a dog and suffer from a personal injury then its owner is strictly liable for your injuries. If the owner is a ‘man of straw’ then there may be a claim to be advanced under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority but it would be up to you to prove that the dog was known to be vicious towards humans and the owner was reckless in its control of a dog that was known to be vicious.
It’s at times like these I quite enjoy the fact I’m made from plasticine.