The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill passed through its final stage at the Scottish Parliament in April. The bill will become law in January 2011 and will introduce ‘Control Notices’ for out of control dogs. The Notices, likened by some to Anti-Social Behaviour Orders, will prescribe measures that an owner must take to ensure that their dog is no longer a danger to people or other animals.

Concerns have been raised that by their very nature most working dogs could be classed as a danger to pest species such as rats and that the new law could lead to a criminalisation of working dogs. Interest groups have however managed to secure amendments to the Bill which should mean that the new law will not pose the threat to legal dog work that it potentially could have.