We are sure there will be other points that spring to mind as we digest the information
There is still the 2 months time limit on contingency orders in order to comply with the rules of exemption however it is now clearly stated that the dog will no longer be exempt if the requirements attached to the certificate of exemption are not complied with at any time after the certificate is issued, clarifying that breach of conditions will make your dog illegal again.
Tattooing has been removed from the conditions and replaced with microchipping. And you now have to provide access to the dog for the purpose of reading a microchip on request by a person specified in section 5(1)
It is now clarified that you now have five days to produce confirmation of insurance when requested to do so which matches the five days to produce already given to produce the certificate of exemption.
The exemption rules used to state there was
“a requirement to notify the Agency of any change of address at which the dog to which it relates is kept for a period in excess of 30 days;”
It has now substituted this with
a. to keep the dog at the same address as the person to whom the certificate is issued save for any 30 days in a 12-month period
b. to notify the Agency of any proposed change of address (not to include any changes of address in the 30 days mentioned in paragraph (a)
Whilst the old rules simply require notification if there is to be a period of longer than thirty days at any one time that the DOG was away from the registered address the new rule isn’t requesting notification its stating that both dog and person need to be at the same address apart from a total of 30 days per year.
The above is not clear in its meaning does it mean the address the person who has an exempted dog is registered to live? If that is the case then an owner couldn’t take their dog to stay with their girlfriend/boyfriend every weekend as they would go beyond the thirty days in a year.
Or does it mean the dog has to be at the same address as the person holding exemption in the physical sense? meaning the owner cant go to stay at their boy/girlfriends every weekend even without their dog as they would be away from the same address as their dog for more than thirty days in a year they would also be unable to work away from home, abroad or serve their country for more than thirty days a year if this were the intended meaning. Part (b) notify of change of address could also be ambiguous who’s address? The owners physical address such as when he/she are working away? or the address that the certificate is issued to?
Thanks most likely to widespread misuse of keepership changes the subject of keepership has been clarified and can now only be achieved by application through the courts instead of owner nomination
And a person may apply to a magistrates’ court to be substituted as the person in charge of the dog ONLY if the person determined originally by the court as being a fit and proper person is unable to continue to be in charge of the dog because of
the death of that person; or
serious illness rendering that person unable to be in charge of the dog.
Again what happens if someone is posted abroad and they are the only person to whom the dog is registered ? It appears it is no longer enough to notify DEFRA your dog will be staying with family for a number of months And unless you are dead or seriously ill they cannot apply to be people in charge.
Will that also mean that the dog is unable to be looked after by their partner at home who is not on the order, due to the person who is registered being at a different address than their dog for more than thirty days or is there opportunity for such issues to be addressed?
The families of people sent to prison could also face losing the family pet if the jailed person is the one named on the order despite the dog being one belonging to the whole family, as could a number of other people who are faced with circumstances which give good reason to need to place someone in charge of their dog.
If the government accept the courts decision on public safety when registering a dog initially and if the tests stated now for the court allowing substitution of person in charge are deemed to be sufficient when some one dies or is ill why are the courts not allowed the responsibility for deciding on the merits of other good reasons?
When making an application to become a person in charge the applicant must provide details in accordance with article 14 to the chief officer of police for the area in which the applicant lives at least two weeks before making an application to the court, and must apply to the court within six weeks of the death of the previous person in charge or of the official letter from a medical practitioner confirming the serious illness of the previous person in charge.
Article 14 states
14. The applicant must provide to the chief officer of police for the area in which the applicant lives the following details:
a. the name of the applicant;
b. the address of the applicant;
c. the date of birth of the applicant;
d. details of the exempted dog; and
e. details of the person to whom the certificate of exemption was issued in respect of the dog.
Unless an extension is granted by the court any failure by the applicant to comply with the six week time limit on application to the magistrates to become a person in charge results in the dog no longer being exempt from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act.
The court may only grant the application for the applicant to be named as the person in charge of an exempted dog if it is satisfied that the dog does not constitute a danger to public safety. In determining whether the dog constitutes a danger to public safety the court must consider the temperament of the dog including its past behaviour.
There will be court application fees chargeable for person in charge applications and Defra also require a second fee for exemption.
Bail for Section One Dogs
The chief officer of police for the area in which the dog was seized can release the dog to the person intending to apply for exemption of the dog effectively allowing bail prior to court but this is the Chief Officers choice on whether to implement a bail scheme not a requirement that he does so and in any the chief officer of police may only release the dog if satisfied that the dog does not constitute a danger to public safety.
In determining whether the dog constitutes a danger to public safety the chief officer of police must consider
the temperament of the dog including its past behaviour; and
whether the person in interim charge is a fit and proper person to be in interim charge of the dog; and
may consider any other relevant circumstances.
Interim exemption scheme conditions and requirements
Where the chief officer of police for the area in which the dog was seized is satisfied that the dog is not a danger to public safety in accordance with the above, the dog is exempt on an interim basis from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act provided that the chief officer of police is satisfied that the following conditions have been met:
a. the dog is neutered in accordance with article 6
b. the dog is microchipped in accordance with article 7
c. third-party insurance is obtained in accordance with article 8
d, the requirements in article 25 (additional requirements) are met throughout the period of interim exemption
e. the person in interim charge confirms in writing that they understand the conditions mentioned in this article and the continuing requirements in article 25 and the consequences of any failure to comply with the conditions or requirements
Additional Requirements (article 25)
Where a dog is released to the person in interim charge under this Part the person in interim charge must comply with the following additional requirements:
a. to keep the dog at the same address as that person
b. to notify the police of any proposed change of address
c. to satisfy the police on request that a policy of third-party insurance compliant with article 8 is in force
d. to provide access to the dog for the purpose of reading a microchip on request by a person specified in section 5(1) of the Act
e. to keep the dog in sufficiently secure conditions to prevent its escape
f. to keep the dog muzzled and on a lead when in a public place
g. any other requirement for the purpose of preventing the dog being a danger to public safety considered appropriate by the chief officer of police for the area in which the dog was seized
If there is a failure to comply with the requirements in article 25 (additional requirements), or if the chief officer of police is no longer satisfied that article 21 (danger to public safety test) is met
a. the dog may be seized under section 5 of the Act; and
b. the dog is not exempt under this Part from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act.