There are two principle pieces of legislation that are used to deal with dangerous dogs.
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 or not they actually cause injury to a person.
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 which are causing a nuisance or are straying.
Where a person is convicted of an offence under this Act the Court may order the destruction of the dog and impose a fine of up to £5,000.
For more information, contact us or visit the Noise, neighbours, pets and pests section on the GOV.UK website.
Environmental Health and Licensing
01438 242908 / 242916