There are 3 Dog Wardens employed throughout Fife within the Safer Communities Team. Their responsibilities include enforcing dog related legislation and promoting Fife Councils ongoing Responsible Dog Ownership Campaign.
The main legislation they enforce is:
- Strays Dogs : The Environmental Protection Act 1990
- Dangerous Dogs : The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010
- Microchipping of Dogs (Scotland) Regulations 2016
- Assisting other agency's enforcing the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2006 and other dog related legislation.
The Council, in partnership with Police Scotland, collects stray dogs. If you have found or are holding a stray dog during 09:00 hrs -16:30 hrs Monday-Friday we will arrange for the dog to be picked up. Please contact Fife Council 03451 550022 and provide the following information.
- When you caught the dog.
- Where it was found.
- A description of the dog including breed, size and colour.
- Any details on its collar or tag.
- Owners name and address, if known.
- The address where currently being held.
Anyone who finds a stray dog out with these hours, on public holidays or at weekends should contact their nearest Police Station.
Please visit our stray dogs page for information on contact telephone numbers and associated costs.
Aggressive or 'out of control' dogs
Responsible dog ownership plays a big part in keeping Fife a great place to live, work and visit. The introduction of The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 provides Local Authorities with powers to place requirements on dog owners who allow their dog to be out of control in such a way that causes fear or alarm for other people.
Dog Control and the Law
The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 came into force on 26 February 2011. The main aim of the Act is to promote more responsible ownership of dogs and to ensure that dogs which are out of control are brought and kept under control. It also seeks to prevent dogs becoming dangerous in order to help reduce, and prevent, future dog attacks. Under the Act, Scottish Local Authorities have the power to take action against irresponsible dog owners and enforce measures to improve any such behaviour.
How does it work in practice?
Fife Council will investigate and record reports received involving dogs which are out of control. An officer authorised under the Act will carry out an investigation and if they identify that the dog is 'out of control', the owner will be either offered advice, issued a warning letter, or have a Dog Control Notice (DCN) served on them.
When is a dog 'out of control?'
Under the definition of the Act, a dog is deemed to be 'out of control' if:
- It is not being kept under control effectively and consistently (by whatever means) by the owner (proper person) who is in charge of the dog. AND
- Its behaviour gives rise to alarm, or apprehensiveness on the part of any individual, and the individual's alarm or apprehensiveness is reasonable - apprehensiveness may be as to (any or all) the individuals own safety, the safety of another person, or the safety of an animal other than the dog in question.
The definition of 'out of control 'is written so that both parts of the test must be met in order for an authorised officer to be able to serve a DCN.
What is a Dog Control Notice (DCN)?
This is a notice which places conditions on the owner to keep their dog under control and keep others safe by aiming to prevent further incidents. It may include (but is not limited to) conditions such as:
- Keeping the dog on a lead in public
- Muzzling the dog in public
- Attending and completing suitable dog training courses
- All dogs which are subject to a DCN MUST be microchipped and registered within 14 days of issue, if not already microchipped
Please note that in accordance with current guidance from the Scottish Government, Fife Council will not notify complainants of any restrictions placed on a dog once a decision is made to issue a DCN.
Once a DCN has been issued, Fife Council Dog Wardens will monitor to check that the owner is complying with it. Failing to comply with a DCN is an offence under the Act and may result in the matter being reported to the Procurator Fiscal and ultimately a fine of up to £1000 and/or being disqualified from keeping a dog. The Sheriff may also order that the dog should be destroyed.
What to do if you see a dog out of control?
If a dog is dangerously out of control in any place (e.g. bites or attempts to bite a person or seriously injures/kills another animal) this should be reported immediately to Police Scotland (Tel 101) for possible action under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Link to Scottish Government web site. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2010/9/contents
Microchipping of Dogs Regulations
As of 6th April 2016 it became compulsory for all dogs over 8 weeks old in Scotland to be microchipped under the Microchipping of Dogs (Scotland) Regulations 2016; this includes your dog being implanted with a microchip and having their details registered on a compliant database.
For information regarding the new microchipping regulations and how they are enforced can be found on dedicated pages of the Scottish Government website www.gov.scot/dogchipping
Control of Dogs Order 1992
In the UK it is still a legal requirement that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on an attached tag. Your telephone number is optional, but is recommended as it would allow anyone finding your dog to call you and reunite you as soon as possible.
Country Code for Dogs
Livestock worrying is a growing problem which can cause stress and injury to farm animals and financial loses for farmers. Where attacks do occur, incidents often leave dog owners shocked and traumatised by the apparently cruel behaviour of their pets.
It is important to realise that ALL dogs are capable of livestock worrying. It is natural for your dog to chase moving objects and it is your responsibility as an owner to make sure your dog is under full control when walked in areas were livestock are present. Livestock worrying has become an increasing problem within Scotland and the rest of the UK with large media coverage of the resulting injuries to both livestock and the dogs. In order to reduce these problems and any risk to livestock safety as well as your dog's safety, reasonable steps should be taken when in areas where livestock is present.
- When near livestock (hens, horses, sheep, cattle ect)ensure your dog is always on a lead or tied up.
- Never leave your dog unattended as it only takes a matter of seconds for a dog to run after livestock.
- Familiarise your dog with livestock before visiting rural, animal-populated areas with the permission of the livestock owners when applicable.
- Train puppies at a young age (ideally before 12 weeks of age) and allow them to socialise with other animal species to reduce the fascination and the tendency to chase later in life. Training the six commands of basic obedience - stay, come, sit, heel, wait and down - will give you confidence that you will be able to control your dog.
- Reward your dog with gentle praise or a special treat when he reacts mutely to livestock. Eventually the dog will recognise the link between the treat and the desired behaviour.
- Remain relaxed when your dog becomes excited around livestock; otherwise the dog may recognise it as an attention seeking technique.
Livestock worrying does not just involve chasing of other animals. It involves any behaviour that your dog may exhibit that can cause alarm to any livestock. This includes dogs jumping at fences or gates where livestock are present, barking loudly and/or aggressively at livestock, baring teeth or snarling and stalking behaviour just to name a few. Therefore you must ensure that when in the vicinity of livestock you must have your dog under FULL control at ALL times.
For further information about the rights and responsibilities of dog owners see the http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/
It's normal and natural for dogs to bark but when barking happens a lot, or goes on for a long time, it can be annoying and upsetting for neighbours. If the dog owner is out a lot they might not realise just how bad it is or they may just be used to the barking. The barking dog problem is most likely to be solved when people discuss things calmly and work out a solution between themselves.
If you think your dog is barking there is link to a useful leaflet below.
Contact Safer Communities Team online