Dogs In The UK Must Wear Collar With ID Tag Or Owners Risk Fines And Jail Time

Dog owners who walk their pets without a collar and ID could face hefty fines in the UK, thanks to the wording of a specific 1992 law.

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 has been around for nearly three decades, but enforcement has often been patchy and pet owners may not be aware of all the requirements that it put into place.

But now, as the country faces rising rates of dognapping and other crimes, authorities are getting serious about making sure pets are easily identifiable.


For pet owners, this means that walking your dog with a harness alone is not enough — they must be wearing an ID on or attached to a collar as well.

While many dog owners often forego the collar when taking their pet out for a quick walk in the local area, this could lead to fines and punishment.

The UK law clearly states that dogs must “wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it.”

PHOTO: PIXABAY/minka2507

Further, any animal found in violation “may be seized and treated as a stray dog” under section 3 of the Dogs Act 1906 or under section 149 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

While some headlines have projected worst-case scenarios for pet owners such as fines in the several-thousand-pounds range or even jail time, in practice, the punishment for breaking the law usually results in a fine of less than £200 altogether — still pretty steep for an understandable mistake!


Given a recent change in 2015 to the way fines work in the UK, however, those worst-case scenarios aren’t impossible. Violating the Control of Dogs Order 1992 makes pet owners liable for “unlimited” fines and the possibility of six months in jail.

For dog owners in the UK, this is a reminder to keep those ID tags updated and around your pet’s neck when outside!

Read more about the law, including exemptions and requirements, here.

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