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DOG owners could face an unlimited fine or even jail time if their pet does not wear a collar or ID tag while walking.
This applies even if the owners switch from a collar to a harness for reasons of the health of their dog.
Dog owners are legally required to wear their pet’s collar and tag, even if they walk with a harness instead.Photo credit: Getty
It is against the law not to have your name and address on your dog tag in public.
The tag must contain a zip code, but phone numbers are not required.
Many owners switch to harnesses instead of collars because of the health issues associated with collars and leashes.
Small dogs such as corgis, in particular, can suffer from a collar that presses against their windpipe.
Therefore, the harness is safer, but the dogs must also wear their collars with a brand.
This may come as a shock, but it’s not new. The Dog Control Act 1992 for Scotland and England requires a collar with the owner’s name and address on it.
Otherwise, the owners are in breach of the Animal Health Act 1981, which was previously fined “Level 5” (£ 5,000) but is now potentially unlimited.
A DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) spokesman told The Sun, “Crimes after the 13th £ 5,000 or more or a Level 5 fine are now punishable by any fine.”
As a result, owners who break the law could face “up to six months in prison and / or an unlimited fine,” the spokesman added.
However, the fines are often much lower.
In 2018, a Cocker Spaniel owner was fined £ 50 at a cost of £ 50 and a victim surcharge of £ 30 for admitting to the crime.
Since 2016, dog owners have also had to microchip their dogs. All dogs over 8 weeks old require a chip that is registered in a DEFRA-approved database.
Failure to comply can result in a fine of 500 €. The fine also applies if the owner’s details, such as address or phone number, change but are not updated in the database.