Dog owners using a harness instead of collar could face a £5,000 fine

22 September 2021, 13:03 | Updated: 22 September 2021, 13:18

Many dog owners use harnesses when walking their dogs (stock images)
Many dog owners use harnesses when walking their dogs (stock images). Picture: Getty
Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

If you walk your dog without their collar, you could face a fine of up to £5,000.

Pet owners have been warned that walking your dog with a harness instead of a collar could land you with a hefty fine.

Many people choose to put a harness on their dog, due to the fact that collars and leads can press on their windpipe, but failing to tag them with your name and postcode in public is against the law.

As reported by the Mirror, The Control of Dogs Order 1992 law for Scotland and England states that a dog must wear a collar with the owners name and address on it.

Breaching this is an offence under the Animal Health Act 1981 which is "punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale".

Dogs are required to wear tags by law (stock image)
Dogs are required to wear tags by law (stock image). Picture: Getty

A Level 5 fine was previously capped at £5,000, but this was changed in

A spokesperson for DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) told TeamDogs: "For crimes committed after 13 March 2015, level 5 has been done away with and all criminal penalties expressed as being punishable on summary conviction by a maximum fine of £5,000 or more, or expressed as being a level 5 fine, are now punishable by a fine of any amount (i.e. unlimited).

Many pet owners opt to use harnesses (stock image)
Many pet owners opt to use harnesses (stock image). Picture: Getty

"That’s as a result of section 85 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

"Therefore, the maximum penalty on summary conviction will be up to six months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine."

The law requires people to include their postcode on the collar, but there is no obligation to put your phone number.