UK: dogs must wear a collar with owner’s name and address on the tag

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Dogs in the UK must wear a collar and tag with the name and address of the owner

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that in England and Scotland a dog in a public place must wear a collar with its owner’s name and address on it. There should be a postcode but it is not obligatory.

Dogs in the UK must wear a collar and tag with the name and address of the owner

Dogs in the UK must wear a collar and tag with the name and address of the owner. Photo: Shutterstock.

Specifically, the law states that “every dog while in a highway or in a place of public resort shall wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it.”

There are exceptions such as dogs used for sporting purposes and working dogs under certain situations such as emergency rescue work and for guide dogs.

If a dog owner is in breach of this Act, they are guilty of an offence under the Animal Health Act 1981. This law is enforced by the local authority and not by the police.

Under the Animal Health Act 1981, a violation of this Act under the above circumstances will result in a fine of £5,000. The amount used to be capped at £5,000 but it can now be a greater sum according to Defra. This means that owners could face an unlimited fine and/or up to 6 months in prison.

The law is very applicable because quite a lot of dog owners like to walk their dogs on a lead attached to a harness while their dogs are not wearing a collar and tag. For obvious reasons, some dog caretakers don’t want to put a collar on their dog because it is less safe than a well-constructed harness.

There is also a legal requirement to microchip all dogs in the UK which I will take to mean, England, Scotland and Wales in this instance.

Dogs have to be micro-chipped by the time they are eight weeks old. Non-compliance could result in a fine of up to £500.

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