A COUNCIL has welcomed a change in the lawwhich means that irresponsible dog owners will face harsher sentences.

Changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act, which came into force on May 13, will also mean dog owners can now face prosecution if their pet attacks a person in their home or on any private property, except if they attack a tresspasser.

Maximum sentences have also got tougher, including up to 14 years for owners if their pet carries out a fatal attack, and five years behind bars for causing injury.

Basildon Council’s animal control officer, Sarah Moran, said: “Dog attacks can have horrific consequences for victims and families and I hope these changes help encourage owners to be more responsible and will reduce attacks in the future.”