Breed specific legislation is active in certain countries across the world, the UK being one. 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. Our inquiry focused on one of the main pieces of legislation, the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.8 The law was introduced to protect the public following a spate of high-profile attacks. In the UK, BSL bans the ownership of four different types of dogs traditionally bred for fighting: pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero. 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). 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. This is not convincing. We are touched by cases of people committing suicide over the current system. 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/. The main tool to combat this form of irresponsible dog ownership is the Community Protection Notice (CPN). 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. We focused specifically on Section 1 of the Act. 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. The data shows the number of people who have signed the petition Legislation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 7. Learn more about fighting BSL in our advocate toolkit. End Breed Specific Legislation - BSL. It had murdered hundreds of innocent , much loved famiy pets and has cost the country millions in kenneling and court fees. This data is available for all petitions on the site. This is similar to compliance levels in countries that still operate a dog licensing scheme. 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 is a form of discrimination. Bills and Legislation sets out the proposals for new laws, and plans to change existing laws, that are presented for debate before Parliament. He explains the mood of the country to us at the time of it's introduction. 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. It must be much more strictly controlled than it is currently. by country as well as in the constituency of each Member of Parliament. UK Government and Parliament. All petitions run for 6 months, Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate. After eleven horrific attacks in 1991, Home Secretary Kenneth Baker promised "to rid the country of the menace of these fighting dogs". The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 states that no person shall give away, breed or breed from, sell, or exchange a prohibited dog. BSL in the UK takes the form of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, which targets the pit-bull terrier. that is shared on the site is that of the petition creator. 10 The following breeds/types are prohibited under Section 1: Dogo Argentino Under the Dangerous Dogs Act four breeds of dog are banned – the pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro. We focused specifically on Section 1 of the Act. Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, DEFRA In fact, the term ‘breed specific legislation’ is misleading because the definition of what is banned under the law is far from specific and doesn’t only apply to pedigree breeds. Education. The Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997 amended the 1991 Act by removing the mandatory destruction order provisions on banned breeds and reopened the Index of Exempted Dogs for dogs - a register of banned dogs which the court considered would not pose a risk to the public. As a result, certain dog breeds are highlighted as being dangerous because of how they look, rather than act. Professor Cooper explains that sadly the introduction of breed specific legislation received support from both politicians and figures within the animal world. Suspicions that Zara might be a prohibited type of dog were first raised by her dog trainer, and so owner Emma contacted her dog legislation officer. The research will consider different approaches and the effectiveness of current dog control measures. and Wales, The Dangerous Dogs Exemption Schemes (England and Wales), http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/1–2/28, Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, Battersea research provides damning verdict on the Dangerous Dogs Act, Does the dangerous dogs act protect against animal attacks: a, prospective study of mammalian bites in the accident and emergency, £2.45 billion a year: new report quantifies economic benefits of, Deaths from dog bites, England and Wales, 1981 to 2015, the owner purchases third party insurance; and. All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0, except where otherwise stated. The maximum penalty for this offence is 14 years imprisonment, where the offence has led to a death and 5 years imprisonment where someone is injured. Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is a type of law that prohibits or restricts particular breeds or types of dog. 23.To ensure the public receives the best possible protection, the Government should commission an independent review of the effectiveness of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and wider dog control legislation. In some areas, regulated breeds also include a variety of other dogs like American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers or any mix of these breeds—and dogs who simply resemble thes… 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'. Its an unworkable, unenforcable racist peice of legislation. 16.We put these concerns to Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity. We want to see an end to this law in the UK. 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. This data is available for all petitions on … Experts agree that breed-specific legislation (BSL) and similar policies that restrict dogs based on appearance do not reduce dog bites in communities or enhance public safety.. 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. Blue Cross explains Breed Specific Legislation. Many states, counties and municipal governments are turning to legislation that targets specific breeds as … That would be welcomed in communities and by forces”.26 Deputy Chief Constable Pritchard stressed that the Government should “not just repeal it and leave it. The increase in attacks - most of them from legal breeds - clearly indicates that the current approach is failing to protect the public adequately. 6.6K likes. The exact figures are not clear due to different reporting metrics and sources. It allows seizure of other breeds, but the rules are not applied homogeneously by councils. 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. The Government considers that prohibition on the four types of fighting dog under Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 should remain in place. In the UK, Breed Specific Legislation was introduced and owning certain dog breeds was made illegal. 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. Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2013-14 6. Dogs placed on the Index of Exempted dogs may be kept by the owner under strict conditions, including that the dog is neutered, microchipped and kept on a lead and muzzled in public. 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. if a person believes the dog might injure them; or. the dog is leashed and muzzled in public. The system needs to be fairer for all, dogs and humans. Breed Specific Legislation fails to achieve what Parliament intended, to protect the public. 4 A different approach - education and enforcement. Reconsider a licensing system. It is not a 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. The only name The research will also seek to identify and examine the factors and situations that may cause dog attacks; how to promote responsible dog ownership. 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. Identifying Pit Bull Terriers, and the prohibition on transferring Section 1 dogs. Breed-specific legislation generally refers to laws that target specific breeds of dogs. We expect this review to take account of the concerns and recommendations raised throughout this Report. 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. 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. Epidemiol Community Health, February 2018, 47 GOV.UK, Clampdown on dangerous dogs, 23 April 2012, 49 Office for National Statistics, Deaths from dog bites, England and Wales, 1981 to 2015, September 2016, protection, the Government should commission an independent review of the, effectiveness of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and wider dog, control legislation. 2. if a person believes the dog would injure them if they tried to stop it attacking their animal. 9.Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act makes it an offence for any dog to be dangerously out of control, regardless of its breed/type. Enforcers are able to take action before dog attacks happen. We expect to have a final report by the end of 2020. The Legislation in the briefing is also relevant to a Petitions Committee debate scheduled for 16 July 2018 (further details of the Petition and Government response are available online).. 6 GOV.UK, Clampdown on dangerous dogs, 23 April 2012. Breed Specific Legislation fails to achieve what Parliament intended, to protect the public. 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. Current Breed Specific Legislation. Connections that the very same humans perpetrated years ago to being dog fighting into prominence. 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. list of people who have signed the petition. The problem. The issue here, is that despite being in place for over 25 years, the number of dog attacks is still rising. New measures announced 5. The Minister stressed that there had been a number of legislative improvements over the years, but agreed that “no one is satisfied with an increase” in incidents, and that “even if there was a decrease, it is still not enough”.50 He insisted however that maintaining Breed Specific Legislation was essential to public safety.51. At 9.30am. The introduction of UK Breed Specific Legislation received support from the political & animal world. Wednesday 4 July, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster. 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. 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. End BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) in the UK. 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? Breed Specific Legislation, as part of the Dangerous Dogs Act, bans four breeds of dog from the UK. Campaign against breed-specific legislation (BSL) A dog may be considered dangerously out of control if it: 10.Additional dog control legislation includes the Dogs Act 1871, which provides civil sanctions, and the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 which covers livestock worrying.19 More recently, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 granted authorities greater powers to tackle anti-social behaviour, including incidents involving dogs.20 At the same time, the maximum sentences for dog attacks resulting in injury or death were raised to five and 14 years respectively. There are currently around 3,000 dogs where a court has granted an exemption and allowed them to stay with their owner. The framework must be applied by local authorities the same, whereas currently some destroy dogs with no court order. We expect this review to take account of the. Consolidating legislation It basically consists of laws that unfairly target dog breeds deemed to be aggressive and falsely given bad reputations. He disagreed with the assessment that Breed Specific Legislation was an inappropriate response, arguing that there was an “overriding paramount interest in making sure that the public is safe”.36 Defra’s Deputy Director, Animal Welfare and Exotic Disease Control maintained that the rising number of bite incidents was not indicative of a failing system, and that the question was rather “what would have been the case without our protections and restrictions in place? It focuses on specific breeds, which fails to appreciate a dog is not aggressive purely on the basis of its breed. There are no proposals to re-introduce the dog licence. This is supported by police who are responsible for enforcing the Act. It focuses on specific breeds, which fails to appreciate a dog is not aggressive purely on the basis of its breed. 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. 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. BSL In The UK. 02/07/2010. 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. 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. Existing Legislation 3. Review of legislation 4. The law on dangerous dogs is concerned with protecting the safety of the public. 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. This review should begin no later than January, 2019. Defra’s submission stated that there had been 31 fatalities since 2005 involving dog attacks in England and Wales.48 Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) recorded a total of 67 fatalities following dog attack incidents between 1991 and 2015, with 37 fatalities occurring between 2005 and 2015.49, Source: Data collated from the Office for National Statistics, 21.We put it to Lord Gardiner that the increase in deaths and injuries caused by dog attacks indicated that the current approach was not protecting the public adequately. Practitioners can intervene at an early stage to help to prevent situations involving irresponsible owners of dogs from becoming serious. The previous licensing scheme for dogs was ceased in 1988 because it was estimated that only around 40% of owners were compliant. 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? New powers for early intervention. The four types of dog, pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro are prohibited because they are types bred for fighting. 22.We were concerned to hear that the Government considered the Dangerous Dogs Act to be successful on the grounds that it was impossible to tell how many attacks would have occurred without the law. 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. However, the law allows a person to keep an individual dog where a court has considered that it does not present a danger to public safety. Find out more about cookies. Everyone in this room, and particularly people outside, would say, “What on earth have you done?”38, 17.He further criticised the “fixation” on Section 1 of the Act, noting that even without it, Section 3 of the Act empowered authorities to tackle dogs of any breed/type.39, 18.Despite the fairly comprehensive legislative framework aimed at preventing dog attacks, the number of bite and strike incidents has steadily increased over the years. Legislators in the United Kingdom are looking at the effectiveness of a 1991 law that bans certain dog breeds. It focuses on specific breeds, which fails to appreciate a dog is not aggressive purely on the basis of its breed. 5.Our inquiry examined whether these aims were being achieved. 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 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. This Briefing was last updated in August 2016. 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. 5 A different approach - changing legislation and learning lessons from abroad. This is often referred to as ‘breed specific legislation’, or ‘BSL’, but actually the law doesn’t recognise a dog’s family tree, or pedigree. concerns and recommendations raised throughout this Report. To breach a CPN is a criminal offence and could lead to a significant penalty. The DEFRA legislation on recognising said type gave a blank cheque to kidnap non-aggressive harmless pets based simply on their appearance. The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom prohibiting or restricting certain types of dogs and codifying the criminal offence of allowing a dog of any breed to be dangerously out of control. Enforcement practices. This review should begin no later than January 2019. Children and adults are suffering catastrophic injuries. It allows seizure of other breeds, but the rules are not applied homogeneously by councils. In the UK, that includes Pit Bull type dogs, Japanese Tosa, Fila Braziliero and the Dogo Argentino breeds, solely because of historical and cultural connections to fighting. The 2014 Act includes streamlined measures to tackle anti-social behaviour, including where such behaviour involves a dog. In addition, Defra has commissioned further research in collaboration with Middlesex University to look at responsible ownership across all breeds of dog. We use cookies to make this service simpler. In May 2018 the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee launched an inquiry on Breed Specific Legislation. CPNs can be issued by local authority officers or the police on dog owners, or anyone temporarily in charge of a dog at the time of an incident, where dogs are behaving in an unruly way. Dogs can’t help who their owners are, yet the law unfairly places the onus of responsibility on them, rather than the irresponsible actions of the owner. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 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. 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. Watch Parliament TV: Dangerous Dogs: Breed Specific Legislation; Inquiry: Dangerous Dogs: Breed Specific Legislation; Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee; Witnesses. 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. This petition is closed Which seems unfair, to put it mildly, because as a result, dogs have lost … The CPN could require the dog’s owner, or the person in charge of it, to take appropriate action to prevent a reoccurrence of the offending behaviour. 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. It allows seizure of other breeds, but the rules are not applied homogeneously by councils. Uk breed specific legislation fails to appreciate a dog is not aggressive purely on the four of. 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