Part A – Introduction
Purpose of the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010
1. The key purpose of the 2010 Act is to promote more responsible ownership of dogs and ensure that dogs which are out of control are brought and kept under control in Scotland.
2. The focus of the 2010 Act is on "deed" not "breed" and is primarily aimed at owners' behaviour which will thereafter address the resulting behaviour of dogs.
3. At the heart of the 2010 Act regime is an ability for local authority 'authorised officers' to be able to impose dog control notices (DCNs) on any dog owner who allows their dog to be out of control. The DCN is a civil notice which can contain a number of conditions such as requiring a dog to be on a lead when in public.
Who should read the guidance?
4. This updated guidance is provided in accordance with the duty upon the Scottish Ministers under section 12(1) of the 2010 Act to issue guidance to local authorities in relation to the exercise of their functions and the functions of authorised officers under the 2010 Act.
Status of guidance
5. Section 12(3) of the 2010 Act requires that local authorities and authorised officers must have regard to any guidance issued under section 12(1). Section 12(2) allows the Scottish Ministers to vary or revoke guidance issued under section 12(1).
6. The guidance is designed to enhance understanding of the 2010 Act and assist local authorities and authorised officers. The guidance is not a definitive interpretation of the 2010 Act, as ultimately that is a matter for the courts. The guidance aims to complement the legislation, and should be read alongside the 2010 Act itself. The 2010 Act and Explanatory Notes can be viewed by accessing the links provided at Part J of the guidance.
Links with other legislation
7. When undertaking their duties under the 2010 Act, local authorities and authorised officers should be mindful of other legislation that covers dogs and their owners, such as the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Further information about these Acts can be found in Part H of this guidance.
8. Further information on this guidance is available from:
Scottish Government Criminal Law, Practice and Licensing Unit
Enquiries by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org