The Bill, which passed its second reading in the House of Lords last month is intended to rectify perceived inadequacies in the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act.

A spokesman for the group said: ?This Bill would consolidate previous legislation and better protect the public by targeting the cause of dog attacks ? dog owners themselves.?

One of the key elements in the Bill will be that legislation will no longer be breed specific.

Supporters of the Bill argue that recent research has proved that genetics play only a limited part in a dog?s temperament.

More emphasis on the owner?s responsibilities would give authorised officers the powers to place Dog Control Notices on irresponsible owners at the first signs of dog aggression.

But a potentially controversial element is that in certain circumstances attacks which take place on private property would become a criminal offence.

A Country Land & Business Association spokesman said: ?Many rural businesses depend on dogs so it is essential that additional costs and burdens are not imposed. Problems could arise when trespassers enter without permission and are attacked by a dog keeping guard. We have less sympathy for these incidents and are concerned new laws could lead to compensation claims that are detrimental to rural businesses.?

  • Jack

    So if it is not breed specific, does that mean that dogs that were banned will now be legal to own?