The 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act aims to tackle the problem of dangerous dogs in several ways:
- It prohibits possession of certain named breeds of dog, except under strictly controlled conditions. The breeds concerned are Pit Bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentinos and Fila Brazilieros.
- Other types of dogs which appear to be bred for fighting, or which have similar characteristics, may be added to this list.
- By imposing restrictions on other dogs believed to present a serious danger to the public. Breaching restrictions may lead to prosecution, fines and imprisonment and banning the dogs from public places without being muzzled or kept on a lead.
- By imposing penalties on the owners of dogs which are dangerously out of control in a public place or on private property. This includes anyone in charge of the dog at the time. A more serious offence will result if the dog injures anyone. A banned dog or a dog that is dangerously out of control may be seized.
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is enforced by the police. They have specialist officers with extensive expertise and experience in relation to dangerous dogs, although our wardens will provide support and assistance when required to help enforce the law.
The courts can also issue a warrant for the police to enter a building and seize a dog.