Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

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Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
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The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is a legislation enacted in the United Kingdom with the objective of prohibiting individuals from possessing or having custody of dogs belonging to breeds specifically bred for fighting. It also establishes restrictions regarding such dogs until the prohibition takes effect. Additionally, the act empowers authorities to impose restrictions on other types of dogs that pose a significant risk to public safety. The legislation further aims to ensure that dogs are kept under proper control. The act encompasses various provisions and is intended to address connected matters pertaining to dog ownership and public safety.

Prior to the passage of the Dangerous Dogs Act, there had been a number of incidents in the UK involving dogs that had attacked or killed people. These incidents often involved certain breeds of dogs, such as Pit Bull Terriers, that were perceived to be aggressive and potentially dangerous. In response, there was a growing public demand for action to be taken to address the issue of dangerous dogs. Prior to the Act there were no criminal penalties for injuries or deaths caused by dog attacks.

In summary, the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 consists of three key sections:

  1. Dogs bred for fighting: Section 1 of the act prohibits the ownership of specific types of dogs, unless they are exempted and listed on the Index of Exempt Dogs. This provision aims to prevent the possession of dogs bred for fighting.
  2. Keeping dogs under proper control: Section 2 establishes a criminal offence, applicable to all breeds and types of dogs, which pertains to the dog being dangerously out of control. This provision holds the owner responsible for legal action in such cases, emphasising the importance of maintaining control over dogs.
  3. Destruction and disqualification orders: Section 3 deals with orders relating to the destruction of dogs that pose a danger to public safety. It also covers orders that prohibit individuals convicted of offences from keeping dogs for a specific period of time. This section focuses on taking appropriate measures, including legal consequences, to address the issue of dangerous dogs.

These provisions collectively aim to regulate and address the risks associated with certain breeds of dogs, promote responsible dog ownership, and ensure public safety.

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