Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is a piece of
that was introduced in response to various incidents of serious injury
or death resulting from attacks by aggressive and uncontrolled dogs,
particularly on children. These incidents received heavy
attention, causing widespread public concern over the keeping of
"dangerous" dogs and a resulting legislative backlash.
Four breeds in particular were targeted by the Act:
It was made illegal to own any of these dogs without specific exemption from
a court. The dogs have to be
muzzled and kept on a lead in public and they must be registered and
insured, and receive
microchip implants. Although the Act was also supposed to ban the
and exchange of these dogs, it is questionable how effective it has been.
There have been several test cases of the Act, most famously
Dempsey (a pit bull
terrier) who in 1995 was
finally reprieved from a death sentence, to widespread media attention. The
definition of the word "type" in the legislation was of particular controversy,
as did the lack of discretion the Act gives magistrates.
In November 2002,
Princess Royal was fined
the Act after one of her
attacked two children. Another of her terriers later fatally injured one of the
Queen's corgis, and in a
separate incident bit one of the Royal staff.
The Act is commonly suggested as a piece of rushed and mistaken legislation
brought in to appease short-term fears without real need; the
Royal Marriages Act 1772 was refered to as "the Dangerous Dogs Act of its
day" in a Private Member's Bill in the Lords.
Other countries also have laws pertaining to dangerous dogs. These vary in
severity. In some jurisdictions in
Australia dogs which
have been declared dangerous are required to wear a collar of red and yellow
stripes; under the harsh legislation of some municipalities of
dogs are seized and put down.
| Animal Control
| Breed-Specific Legislation
| Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
| Diane Whipple
| Dog Fighting
| Dog Licence
| Pet Passport
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