Back to the Scottish Parliament Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill - (SP Bill 29)
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For information - the Bill has now been passed by the Parliament.  This webpage describes the Local Government and Communities Committee's work on the Bill.


The Local Government and Communities Committee was the lead Committee for the Scottish Parliament’s scrutiny of the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill


The Bill enables local authorities to impose measures on the owner, or the person in charge, of a dog where that person has failed to keep the dog under control. It also extends the liability of a person where a dog is dangerously out of control under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (“The 1991 Act”) to all places, not only public places.

The Bill’s Policy Memorandum states that:

  • the existing legislation is piecemeal and is focused primarily on dangerous dogs and particular breeds of dogs;
  • the 1991 Act outlaws specific breeds of dog, but does not fully address the behaviour of irresponsible dog owners which, in most cases, is a contributory factor leading to a dog behaving dangerously;
  • dog attacks which occur on private property where the dog is permitted to be, such as a private dwelling, are not covered by the 1991 Act; and
  • some of the most serious dog attacks of recent years have happened on private premises.

The Bill seeks to close this gap by extending the provisions of the 1991 Act to make it an offence to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control anywhere in Scotland.

In addition, the Bill  seeks to repeal both the Dogs Act 1871 and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1989 in so far as they apply to Scotland. It restates the provisions of these Acts into one piece of legislation, with some significant additions to address irresponsible dog ownership.

Written Evidence

A call for written evidence was issued by the Local Government and Communities Committee for interested parties to submit their views on the Bill.  The call for evidence has now closed.

Oral Evidence

At its meeting on 18 November, the Committee took evidence on enforcement considerations and implementation of the Bill.  The Committee also took evidence on animal welfare considerations and the general aspects of the Bill at this meeting.

At its meeting on 25 November, the Committee took evidence from Kenny MacAskill MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, and Scottish Government Officials on the Scottish Government's position on the proposals.  The Committee also took evidence at this meeting from Christine Grahame MSP on the policy intentions of the Bill.


Subordinate Legislation Committee Report

The Subordinate Legislation Committee published a report on the delegated powers of the Bill on 26 October 2009.

Stage 1 Report

The Committee published its Stage 1 report on the Bill on 26 January 2010.

Stage 1 response from Christine Grahame MSP, Member in charge of the Bill

Stage 1 Debate

The Stage 1 debate for the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill took place on 10 February 2010.

Stage 2

Stage 2 proceedings were completed on 24 March 2010.

Stage 3

Stage 3 proceedings of the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill took place on 22 April 2010.


Completed Business of the committee