Dangerous Dogs Act

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, bans the ownership, breeding, sale (both national and international) and exchange of certain types of fighting dogs - the ban currently covers pure breeds and cross breeds with the same physical and behavioural characteristics as the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero.

The maximum fine for having a banned dog is £5000 and/or 6 months in prison and the dog may be destroyed.

Section 3 of the act applies to all dogs that are dangerously out of control in a public place (it does not apply to dogs in their own garden who jump up at visitors). If a dog acts in a way in which someone fears they will be attacked, then an offence is committed. The fines are up to £5000 and/or 6 months in prison and the Courts may order the dog to be destroyed.

A Police Officer or dog warden may seize a banned dog or a dog that is dangerously out of control. If you wish to report a dangerous dog, contact the Police or the dog wardens . The Courts can also issue a warrant for the police to enter a building and seize a dog.

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Control of Dogs Act Scotland

Information from Endangered Dogs Defence & Rescue Ltd. Click here to visit the site.

The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 has now been approved by the Scottish Parliament (being passed by parliament on 22nd April 2010) and received Royal Assent on 26th May 2010 - the provisions of the Act come into force at the end of nine months from this date.

The new law will affect dog owners and their dogs in two major ways:

1) Firstly section three of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (DDA) which applies to ALL dog regardless to breed or type will be different in Scotland. This new law extends the criminal liability of a person where a dog is dangerously out of control under section 3 of the 1991 Act to all places.

2) Secondly the introduction of the 'Dog Control Notice' (DCN) which can be imposed on the dog's owner, or the person in charge of a dog if that person has failed to keep the dog under control. Failure to comply with a DCN could lead to a fine and/or destruction of the dog if ordered by the court.

This law will be applied in Scotland (not England and Wales).

The new measures "to modernise the law on dangerous dogs" were originally introduced by Alex Neil MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) who produced a consultation document in January 2008 and asked for public written responses regarding his proposals to be sent in by 14th April 2008.

The Control of Dogs Scotland Bill was later taken up by Christine Grahame MSP. The original Bill did contain a reference to a dog's 'size and power' when considering whether it is out of control for the purposes of issuing a dog control notice; an amendment was later tabled by Patricia Ferguson MSP to remove this reference in the proposed law.

The amendment was debated in the Scottish Parliament on the 22nd April 2010 and was passed by 57 to 42 votes (Christine Grahame MSP voted against the amendment) and the Bill went forward to become an Act - a law.

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Dogs and the Law

Dog mess is unpleasant and can spread diseases which can cause illness and even blindness.

Under the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 a person who is in charge of a dog must clean up after it when it fouls any footpath, highway, verge or other open space to which the public have access.

The law does not apply to:

  • Guide dogs
  • Land used for agriculture or woodlands
  • Land which is mainly marshland, moor or heath
  • Rural common land
  • Land comprised of, or running alongside a road with a speed limit over 40 miles per hour

Uniformed wardens and dog wardens regularly patrol parks and other places used for dog walking and can issue fixed penalty notices of £50 to anyone found committing an offence. The case could even be taken to Court where a fine of up £1000 can be given. You can report a dog fouling offence your dog warden.

Dog Prohibition Areas
There are a number of places in the borough where dogs are banned, with the exception of guide dogs. These dog prohibition areas are mostly children's play areas and cemeteries and are patrolled by dog wardens. Anyone taking a dog into one of these areas could be taken to Court where a fine of up to £500 can be given.

Dogs on Leads Areas
Keeping your dog under control in public places is important, but in some areas there are byelaws explaining that dogs must be kept on a lead (excluding guide dogs). These areas are in ornamental gardens, bowling greens, and pitch and putt areas and are patrolled by dog wardens. Anyone taking a dog into one of these areas without a lead could be taken to Court and fined up to £500. If you wish to report an offence, contact the dog warden.

Stray dogs
The Council has a duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to catch dogs that appear to be strays. Police Officers may also catch strays, but do not have a duty to do so, although they must accept any stray dogs brought in to the Police Station. Stray dogs are kept in kennels for 7 days after which they may be sold, sent to The Dogs Trust for re-homing or destroyed. Dogs are normally only destroyed if they are very ill or vicious.

Missing dog?
You should contact your local Police or your dog warden who will let you know if it has been picked up. To reclaim the dog you must do so within 7 days and you will have to pay the boarding fees plus a charge of £25. If you find a stray dog, you are required by law to return it to the owner or to contact the dog warden who will arrange to collect it. If you find a stray dog outside of normal office hours you must take it to the nearest police station. If you wish to keep the dog, you must have written permission from the police or dog warden, and you will have to keep it for at least one month.

Barking dogs
Constant barking can be a nuisance to neighbours and could result in legal action being taken against you.

Dog Breeding
Under the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999, no person can keep a breeding establishment for dogs unless under a licence granted by your local authority. If you own 5 or more breeding bitches and they produce 5 or more litters per year or your premises are used solely for the purpose of breeding dogs then you will require a Dog Breeding Licence.

Collar and identity tags
Under the Control of Dogs Order 1992, all dogs must wear a collar and identity tag in a public place. The tag must show the owner's name and address. Fines of up to £5000 can be given by the Courts for an offence. This applies even if micro chipped.

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