It is an offence to own or keep any of the types of dog listed below, unless it is on the Index of Exempted Dogs and is in compliance with the requirements. In any event it is an offence to breed from, sell or exchange (even as a gift) such a dog, irrespective of whether it has been placed on the Index of Exempted Dogs. Page 3 of Annex A provides further details about the Index.
Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 prohibits four types of dog:
- the Pit Bull Terrier
- the Japanese tosa
- the Dogo Argentino
- the Fila Brasileiro
The Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997
It is important to note that, in the UK, dangerous dogs are classified by “type”, not by breed label. This means that whether a dog is considered dangerous, and therefore prohibited, will depend on a judgment about its physical characteristics, and whether they match the description of a prohibited ‘type’. This assessment of the physical characteristics is made by a court. A leaflet providing guidance on the physical characteristics that a court would consider in reaching its judgement can be found below.
The 1991 Act was amended by the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997. The 1997 Act removed the mandatory destruction order provisions of the 1991 Act by giving the courts discretion on sentencing, and re-opened the Index of Exempted Dogs for those prohibited dogs which the courts consider would not pose a risk to the public. Only courts can direct that a dog can be placed on the list of exempted dogs.
Section 3 of the 1991 Act created a new offence of being an owner of a dog of any type or breed which is dangerously out of control in a public place or a non-public place in which it is not permitted to be.
Overseas legislation on prohibited types of dog
If you need to know the law on prohibited types of dogs in other countries, please contact the Embassy of the relevant country. Please note that you should contact the Embassy of the country concerned within the UK, rather than a British Embassy abroad. Contact details of embassies in the UK are available.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/welfare … c/dogs.htm
Changes were made to the Dangerous Dogs Act on 13 May 2014. For full details, please visit