It focuses on specific breeds, which fails to appreciate a dog is not aggressive purely on the basis of its breed. Enforcement practices. The court must consider the temperament of the dog and whether the intended keeper is a “fit and proper person” and other matters such as suitability of accommodation. 15.The UK Centre for Animal Law raised additional concerns that the current focus on prohibiting certain breeds had offered false reassurances to policymakers, and distracted attention from investigating alternative and potentially more effective methods of dog control.34 The Animal Behaviour, Cognition & Welfare Group further noted that: … the stigmatisation of certain breeds through the legislation may have inadvertently increased the value of dogs as weapons in general, or particular breeds, and thus increased the problem. Breed-specific legislation is a form of discrimination. Professor Cooper explains that sadly the introduction of breed specific legislation received support from both politicians and figures within the animal world. An initial review of the Dangerous Dogs Act, published five years after the law’s introduction, showed no significant reduction in dog bites.40 NHS data shows that between 2005 and 2017, the number of recorded hospitalisations rose from 4,110 up to 7,461, representing an 81 percent increase.41 The RSPCA told us that there was no evidence suggesting that prohibited breeds were a significant factor behind the rise.42 Figures from the Metropolitan Police for 2015–16 indicated that legal breeds accounted for around 80 percent of incidents involving Section 3 ‘dangerously out of control’ offences.43 The annual cost to the NHS of treating dog attack victims has been estimated at £3 million.44, 19.The total number of bites is likely to be substantially higher than the NHS hospital admission figures suggest. The law was further extended to cover incidents on private property and attacks against assistance dogs.21, 11.The majority of public concern over the Dangerous Dogs Act has concentrated on the breed ban in Section 1, and there have been widespread calls for it to be repealed on animal welfare grounds.22 We accordingly pressed our witnesses for their views on the ban’s effectiveness. BSL needs to be scrapped and replaced with sensible legislation on controlling dogs in public and making owners responsible for their dogs regardless of size, breed or alleged 'type'. 10 Because the Pit Bull Terrier is not a recognised breed in the UK, this Report generally refers to breeds/types when discussing the provisions of Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. 6.6K likes. After eleven horrific attacks in 1991, Home Secretary Kenneth Baker promised "to rid the country of the menace of these fighting dogs". 02/07/2010. the dog is leashed and muzzled in public. The only name that is shared on the site is that of the petition creator. The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) told us that “the legislation is essential to keeping the public safe” and Section 1 of the Act should not be repealed.23 The police acknowledged difficulties with legislation, however, noting that “traditional fighting dog lines had been diluted” to the degree that such dogs were often now found to be ‘near types’ that fell outside the Section 1 classifications.24, 12.During our evidence session, Deputy Chief Constable Pritchard representing the NPCC stated that he would support a review of the Dangerous Dogs Act, and that “we would like to move away from a specific list”.25 He noted that the police would “welcome further research to understand what would be best practice” and “look for a long-term plan to change the legislation. The research will consider different approaches and the effectiveness of current dog control measures. if a person believes the dog might injure them; or. 4.Over 200,000 people are attacked every year by dogs in England alone.6 Children under nine are statistically at most risk.7 There are several pieces of legislation in place to protect the public and ensure proper dog control. Children and adults are suffering catastrophic injuries. The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 also makes it an offence to allow a dog of any breed or type to become dangerously out of control in any place. Its stated aim is to: prohibit persons from having in their possession or custody dogs belonging to types bred for fighting [...] to enable restrictions to be imposed in relation to other types of dog which present a serious danger to the public; to make further provision for securing that dogs are kept under proper control; and for connected purposes.9. Wednesday 4 July, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster. He explains the mood of the country to us at the time of it's introduction. 5.Our inquiry examined whether these aims were being achieved. Identifying Pit Bull Terriers, and the prohibition on transferring Section 1 dogs. list of people who have signed the petition. 16.We put these concerns to Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity. by country as well as in the constituency of each Member of Parliament. Rejected petition End Breed Specific Legislation ... the number of people who have signed the petition by country as well as in the constituency of each Member of Parliament. UK Government and Parliament. Secondly the labelling of some dogs as “dangerous” carries with it an implicit suggestion that other breeds are “not dangerous”, which might lead to individuals abandoning normal risk management around these latter types, and an increased risk as a result.35. If the owner is successful, the dog is placed on the Index of Exempted Dogs and the owner must comply with certain conditions, including that: 7.As of May 2018, there were 3,530 prohibited dogs on the Index: 8.The law does not provide for the dog’s owner to be changed, unless the owner dies or is incapacitated.15 If a Section 1 dog is stray, was abandoned and is being kept in a rescue centre, or if the owner is unable to care for it due to a change in circumstances, the dog cannot be re-homed and is liable to euthanasia.16 Similarly, if the owner is not judged to be a fit and proper person, the dog would be destroyed.17. The problem. Which seems unfair, to put it mildly, because as a result, dogs have lost … This Briefing was last updated in August 2016. Practitioners can intervene at an early stage to help to prevent situations involving irresponsible owners of dogs from becoming serious. Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is the banning or restriction of specific breeds of dogs considered “dangerous” breeds, such as pit bull breeds, Rottweiler’s and German shepherds. Enforcers are able to take action before dog attacks happen. We focused specifically on Section 1 of the Act. Consolidating legislation 2005 figures obtained from BBC, Rise in dog bite admissions, 28 May 2015, 44 University of Lincoln, Pets could save NHS up to £2.45 billion a year: new report quantifies economic benefits of UK pets, 6 December 2016, 45 Westgarth et al, How many people have been bitten by dogs? As a result, certain dog breeds are highlighted as being dangerous because of how they look, rather than act. 13 Dogs, England and Wales, The Dangerous Dogs Exemption Schemes (England and Wales) Order 2015, 16 UK Centre for Animal Law (DDL0355) paras 11–12, 18 GOV.UK, Controlling your dog in public, 19 For the Dogs Act 1871 see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Vict/34–35/56, for the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 Act see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/1–2/28, 20 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, 22 See for example Blue Cross, If looks couldn’t kill, 33 Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, new Battersea research provides damning verdict on the Dangerous Dogs Act 25 years on, 25 July 2016, 34 UK Centre for Animal Law (DDL0355) para 16, 35 The Animal Behaviour, Cognition & Welfare Group, University of Lincoln (DDL0289) para 6, 40 Klassen et al, Does the dangerous dogs act protect against animal attacks: a prospective study of mammalian bites in the accident and emergency department, 1996, 41 2016–17 figures obtained from NHS Digital data, available at: https://digital.nhs.uk/. if a person believes the dog would injure them if they tried to stop it attacking their animal. Bills and Legislation sets out the proposals for new laws, and plans to change existing laws, that are presented for debate before Parliament. The system needs to be fairer for all, dogs and humans. In May 2018 the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee launched an inquiry on Breed Specific Legislation. 5 A different approach - changing legislation and learning lessons from abroad. It allows seizure of other breeds, but the rules are not applied homogeneously by councils. Education. Recent research has estimated that only a third of those suffering a dog bite subsequently sought medical treatment.45 We also heard that only overnight stays would be recorded in the commonly cited hospital records; victims returning home after treatment at an accident and emergency department may not be included in these figures.46 In 2012 the Government estimated that over 200,000 people a year suffer dog bites.47, 20.Dog attack fatalities have also increased. Under the act, breed specific legislation (BSL) prohibits the ownership of certain “types” of dogs, with the most popular prohibited type being the pit bull, says the RSPCA. A 1991 law called the Dangerous Dogs Act banned certain breeds in the United Kingdom, and some Members of Parliament are looking at whether or not that Act has actually been effective in reducing the number of dog attacks. This section includes so-called ‘Breed Specific Legislation’ (BSL), as it makes it illegal to own, sell, breed, give away or abandon specific breeds/types of dog regardless of the animal’s behaviour or temperament.10 The following breeds/types are prohibited under Section 1: 6.Dogs suspected of being of a prohibited type may be seized by the authorities and held in a police-appointed kennel pending examination by a qualified expert.11 The majority of animals seized under Section 1 are suspected Pit Bull Terriers.12 If the dog is found to be a banned Section 1 type, an owner wishing to keep the animal must go through court proceedings to determine that they are a fit and proper person and that the animal will not pose a risk to public safety. Breed Specific Legislation fails to achieve what Parliament intended, to protect the public. That is what we do not know”.37 Lord Gardiner further highlighted the moral force of prohibiting certain activities and reassuring the public that their concerns were being met: What if … people decided that the green light was on and we could have those breeds… What if we then found that there were an increase in fatalities? It allows seizure of other breeds, but the rules are not applied homogeneously by councils. It focuses on specific breeds, which fails to appreciate a dog is not aggressive purely on the basis of its breed. End Breed Specific Legislation - BSL. Instead, UK legislation bases the decision on whether a dog is illegal on looks alone – a dog’s breed, a dog’s parents’ breeds, DNA testing and behaviour don’t come into it. The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 states that no person shall give away, breed or breed from, sell, or exchange a prohibited dog. Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is an attempt to reduce the number of dog attacks by legislating against the ownership and breeding of a specific breed of dog. The main tool to combat this form of irresponsible dog ownership is the Community Protection Notice (CPN). This review should begin no later than January, 2019. We expect this review to take account of the. The law on dangerous dogs is concerned with protecting the safety of the public. The reason for this is because the issue is not about the type of dog that is owned, but actually centres around responsible pet ownership. Closed Petition - 118,638 Signatures Breed Specific Legislation fails to achieve what Parliament intended, to protect the public. Regulated breeds typically comprise the “pit bull” class of dogs, including American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and English Bull Terriers. Under the Dangerous Dogs Act four breeds of dog are banned – the pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro. In the UK, Breed Specific Legislation was introduced and owning certain dog breeds was made illegal. We use cookies to make this service simpler. The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 includes specific measures to enable the police and local authorities to tackle irresponsible dog ownership before a dog attack occurs. The 2014 Act includes streamlined measures to tackle anti-social behaviour, including where such behaviour involves a dog. Inquiry: Dangerous Dogs: Breed Specific Legislation; Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee; The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was introduced to protect the public from dangerous dog attacks. It allows seizure of other breeds, but the rules are not applied homogeneously by councils. Find out more about cookies. Breed Specific Legislation was introduced 26 years ago as part of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to restrict the ownership of certain types of dogs deemed to be dangerous to people. The four types of dog, pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro are prohibited because they are types bred for fighting. There are still issues of risk in our society and our communities”.27, 13.The British Veterinary Association and British Small Animal Veterinary Association (hereafter BVA), the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the Kennel Club, and David Ryan, former Chair of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, were unanimous in their condemnation of the breed specific provisions in Section 1.28, 14.Dogs Trust told us there was “no evidence that there has been any effect on the number of bites”,29 and there was a “catalogue of research that tells us that breed is not a predictor” of risk.30 The RSPCA highlighted that the conditions of seizure and kennelling could be stressful for the animal and negatively affect its behaviour.31 Battersea Dogs & Cats Home told us it was “heart-breaking” to put down dogs they believed could be safely re-homed.32 The organisation has said that over 70 percent of the banned Pit Bull types in its care could have gone to new owners, but were instead required to be put down.33. The increase in attacks - most of them from legal breeds - clearly indicates that the current approach is failing to protect the public adequately. The introduction of UK Breed Specific Legislation received support from the political & animal world. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We expect to have a final report by the end of 2020. On April 3, 2014, the Maryland House of Delegates gave final approval to breed neutral dog bite liability legislation that would abrogate the 2012 Court of Appeals ruling in Tracey v.Solesky, which imposed “breed”-specific liability on dog owners, custodians, and landlords.From the beginning, Maryland residents and lawmakers have been in agreement that the Tracey v. One of the unfortunate results of breed stereotypes, misinformation, and irresponsible ownership is breed-specific legislation, also known as breed discriminatory bans.For canine regulation, it is important to understand the differences between the two major forms of regulation - breed-specific legislation (BSL) and breed-neutral legislation (BNL). The Government is determined to crack down on irresponsible dog ownership and to that end we are encouraging police forces across the country to use these new tools. There are currently around 3,000 dogs where a court has granted an exemption and allowed them to stay with their owner. We need a system that focuses on the aggressive behaviour of dogs, and the failure of owners to control their dog, rather than the way a dog looks. All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated. Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, DEFRA This is similar to compliance levels in countries that still operate a dog licensing scheme. The DEFRA legislation on recognising said type gave a blank cheque to kidnap non-aggressive harmless pets based simply on their appearance. Such laws range from outright bans on the possession of these dogs, to restrictions and conditions on ownership, and often establishes a legal presumption that such dogs are dangerous or vicious. PPG holds that Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) such as this paints an unjust picture of certain breeds of dogs and punishes responsible dog guardians unnecessarily. The Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) 1991 was pushed through parliament in response to media and public pressure following a string of high-profile dog attacks. 10 the following breeds/types are prohibited under Section 1 dogs 23 April 2012 the number dog. 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