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Council prosecutes another irresponsible dog owner

A Skelmersdale dog owner has been ordered to pay out more than £1,300 by Wigan Magistrates Court for failing to ensure his pet was microchipped and wearing an identity tag in a public place.

New legislation came into force on 6 April 2016 which made it compulsory for dogs in England to be microchipped and for owners’ details to be kept up to date on the chip. Owners who fail to comply with the regulations can be fined up to £500.

Wigan Magistrates Court heard how Mr Daniel Bradley’s mastiff was collected by West Lancashire Borough Council contractors while straying in Old Skelmersdale in September 2016 after a complaint was made by a member of the public.

The contractor found there was no microchip when the dog was scanned. They also saw the mastiff was not wearing an identity tag with the owner’s name and address, which all dogs must have by law while out in public places.

After Mr Bradley, of Woodrow, Skelmersdale, collected his pet, the Council served him with a notice giving him 21 days to get his dog chipped and provide proof to the Council he had done this. Mr Bradley did not comply with the notice leading the Council to take legal action against him.

Mr Bradley did not attend court and was found guilty in his absence. He was fined £660 for the dog not wearing a collar and tag, £220 for the dog not being microchipped, and was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £66 and costs of £382.37. In total, Mr Bradley’s failure to comply with laws regarding his dog has cost him £1,328.37.

This is the latest prosecution the Council has carried out since the legislation in microchipping came into force.

The Council aims to take firm action against all dog owners who fail to comply with dog-related laws.

Dave Tilleray, who heads up the Environmental Health Team, said: “This prosecution by the Council shows its commitment to promoting responsible dog ownership and welfare within the borough. Dog owners must take note that it is a legal requirement for dogs in England to be microchipped.

“They must also, by law, wear an identity tag with the owner’s name and address when in a public place.”

Microchipping is a failsafe way to ensure if your pet is lost it can be re-united with you. Many vets and pet shops provide this at a small charge.

Further information on responsible dog ownership can be found by visiting www.westlancs.gov.uk/dogs.

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