OneKind is calling for the reintroduction of dog licences to combat dangerous dog attacks.
Under our proposal, responsible dog owners who already microchip their dogs, treat them kindly and keep them under control would feel little difference.
Following a spate of high-profile dog attacks, Scottish charity OneKind is calling for a new dog licensing scheme.
It comes after a series of violent dog attacks in which children have been seriously injured or killed. They include the death of eleven-month-old Ava-Jayne Corless, who died after being attacked by pit bull dog in Blackburn in February.
The charity unveiled details of the scheme in the runup to a major summit on responsible dog ownership in Edinburgh on Thursday 27 March.
OneKind's license would mean any dog for which the licence holder is responsible would have to be microchipped and the owner's details kept up to date on the register.
The dog would have to wear a collar and tag when not on the owner's property. The dog must be kept under control at all times and the holder must not have been convicted of offences involving cruelty to animals or failure to control a dog within the previous ten years.
The proposed general dog licence would be free, easily accessible to everyone and would cover all dog owners by default. The only requirement on most owners would be to understand and abide by the conditions.
OneKind's policy director Libby Anderson said: "Under our proposal, responsible dog owners who already microchip their dogs, treat them kindly and keep them under control would feel little difference. There would be action if things went wrong and the authorities would have a simple, cost-efficient mechanism for enforcing responsible dog ownership."
Anderson welcomed the move but added: "Microchipping is not, however, a panacea for the problems of out-of-control dogs. Nor can it, on its own, protect dogs from neglect and ill-treatment, although it can help to trace the perpetrators."