From TheDailyMail (UK):
Every dog owner will have to take a costly ‘competence test’ to prove they can handle their pets, under new Government proposals designed to curb dangerous dogs.
Owners of all breeds would also have to buy third-party insurance in case their pet attacked someone, and pay for the insertion of a microchip in their animal recording their name and address.
The proposals are among a range of measures to overhaul dog laws in England and Wales being considered by senior Ministers, who are expected to announce a public consultation within weeks.
But critics said responsible dog owners would be penalised by yet more red tape and higher bills – one expert estimated the extra costs at £60 or more – while irresponsible owners of dangerous dogs would just ignore the measures.
They added that genuine dog lovers could end up paying for efforts to control a small number of ‘devil dogs’ that terrorised socially deprived areas.
The RSPCA said last night it would welcome a review of legislation which has failed to curb the numbers of dangerous dogs that can attack, and sometimes kill, children and adults.
But a spokesman for the charity added: ‘We would not support anything that would hit sensible owners while failing to police those who are a danger.’
A government source said the proposals, contained in a confidential document headed Consultation On Dangerous Dogs, have been drawn up by the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra).
They follow mounting public concern about the spate of serious injuries and deaths inflicted by dogs.