FIFE MSP Alex Rowley has called for changes in the current dog control law, saying it is not fit for purpose, as well as calling for increased resources to be made available from the Scottish Government to local authorities in order to tackle the number of dog attacks that have been happening.

According to the Lead the Way Campaign many thousands of children are being attacked and left with life changing injuries in Scotland while at the same time there has only been 42 convictions under current laws in the last eight years despite the introduction of new legislation in 2010 which was supposed to help reduce the number of attacks.

A Scottish Parliament committee has said “that action needs to be taken now to tackle dog attacks” and has recommended greater collection of data on attacks and the creation of a dog control activity database to track movements of owners who relocate.

Speaking about the dog control laws Mr Rowley said: “Too many people, including children, are having to face the consequences of being attacked by dogs; we need to do more to address this.

“The law introduced in 2010 gave local authorities powers to issue Dog Control Notices on dog owners, or those in charge of a dog, which they had failed to keep under control.

"However, what happened was that the law led to an increased financial burden on local authorities and their staff, over a period in which council budgets had been slashed leaving them with no resources available to respond.

“Indeed, it is the case that dog attacks didn’t decrease and some evidence even pointed to them increasing. The law clearly isn’t working".

Mr Rowley added: “What is needed, and this applies to many of the well-intended policies of the Scottish Government, is resources. It is all well and good having good intentions, but unless they can be implemented then those intentions are not fit for purpose.

“If the intention is to deliver legislation which properly attempts to reduce dog attacks then the Government should reform the law and properly resource enforcement so that out of control and dangerous dogs can be dealt with properly.

“There are too many attacks happening in Scotland, and much more needs to be done to address it starting with a comprehensive review of the current law and better resourcing for tackling the issue.”