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Dogs Act 1871

Under the Dogs Act 1871 a complaint may be made to any magistrates’ court that a dog is dangerous and not kept under proper control in any place, including private property. If the magistrates find that the dog is dangerous, they may either order the dog’s owner to keep it under proper control or order it to be destroyed. A fine can be imposed for breach of either order. The meaning of dangerous includes dangerous to other animals, including dogs. Proceedings can be brought by the police, local authorities or individual members of the public.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Act tackles the problem of dangerous dogs by:

(a) Prohibiting possession of named breeds except under strictly controlled conditions. Breeds currently controlled in this way are:

  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogos Argentinos
  • Fila Brasileiros

(b) Imposing sanctions on the owners of dogs and those in charge of them which are dangerously out of control in a public place whether they actually cause injury to a person or not.

From 1 February 2024, it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully in England and Wales unless you have a Certificate of Exemption for your dog. Find out more about preparing for the ban on XL Bully dogs on the Government website.

Complaints about dangerous dogs are dealt with by the Police, you can report incidents to the police by calling 101. The council will deal with complaints about dogs that are causing a nuisance or are straying.

Environmental Health and Licensing

Daneshill House





01438 242908 / 242916