The Kennel Club is campaigning for the overhaul of the existing dangerous dogs legislation.
The issue of dangerous dogs and protecting the public has posed a problem for legislators for many years.
The Kennel Club believes that specific legislation does not protect the public and must be sorted out to place greater responsibility on dog owners and remove the huge welfare implications affecting dogs deemed to be of a certain type.
Under section 2 of the 1871 Dogs Act, a dog may be reported to the police or a Magistrate’s court for acting dangerously and/or out of control. If the court concurs, an order can be made for the dog to be kept by the owner under proper control, or destroyed. The Dangerous Dogs Act 1989 extended the powers available to a court on a complaint under this legislation, together with additional rights of appeal and enhanced penalties.
More recently the implementation of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 has had a significant effect on the welfare of some dogs by banning specific breeds:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Braziliero
This Act has led to thousands of dogs every year kept in kennels for many years or euthanased simply because of their breed or type. Furthermore, the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997 removed the mandatory destruction order provisions on banned breeds and re-opened the Index of Exempted Dogs for dogs.