Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has called on the Government to review the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act in light of new research.

Report
Research published in Battersea’s report shows the failings of breed specific legislation.

The charity’s report, Dog Bites: what’s breed got to do with it? marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the 1991 act, which outlawed four breeds of dogs from the UK:

  • pit bull terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Fila Brasiliero

Breed irrelevant

Battersea and many other animal welfare organisations have long opposed Section 1 of the 1991 act that judges a dog on its looks not its behaviour, and can see them destroyed if deemed by the police to be a banned breed.

As published in the charity’s report, a survey of 215 of the UK’s professional canine behaviour experts found:

  • 74% of participants said breed was either irrelevant or only slightly important in determining dog aggression levels
  • the four breeds of dog outlawed by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 were not directly identified as being the most frequently aggressive

Further, the charity says there is “little evidence” the act has reduced dog attacks or been successful in eradicating the pit bull terrier in the UK.

Last year Battersea took in 91 pit bull terrier types, confirming the breeding and sale of these animals is still going on.

Systematic failure

Battersea’s chief executive Claire Horton said: “This new research by Battersea sets out the failings of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in focusing on how a dog looks, rather than on anything it has done or the actions of its owner.

“There are of course some dangerous dogs on our streets but for a quarter of a century this legislation has condemned too many innocent dogs to be put to sleep, while systematically failing to reduce dog attacks in our communities.

“Battersea is dismayed that this outdated, knee-jerk piece of legislation is still on the statute books. There is a clear need to replace it with a law that targets irresponsible owners.”

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Dangerous Dogs Act needs reviewing, claims charity"

Notify of
avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Alison Fletcher
Guest
Alison Fletcher
7 months 27 days ago

Check out whats currently going on in belfast re above
#savehank

Dog removed from owners in their absence because reported to local council for looking like a pit bull..now on death row for no reason. Dog is neutered, insured and microchipped and has responsible owners. Im totally ashamed the council have behaved in this matter

wpDiscuz

related content

Comic Relief has apologised for the use of a French bulldog called Albert on one of its T-shirts for 2017’s Red Nose Day.

5 mins

Karen Perry describes two new approaches to stabilising the luxated patella in dogs, as well as a new form of subsequent pain relief post-surgery.

20 mins

International Cat Care, the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund and the RSPCA have come together to raise awareness that breeding cats and rabbits with exaggerated flat faces can cause health and welfare problems.

8 mins

A leading veterinary dermatologist has called for vets to prescribe narrow-spectrum antibiotics for first-line cases of otitis externa to help reduce levels of multiple-resistant, chronic infections.

5 mins

Mini tablets and artificial meat flavourings could be the key to the age-old problem of persuading cats to swallow medication.

4 mins

The Hybrid Breeders Association is for “hobby” breeders of all dogs deliberately cross-bred from health-tested lines and covers popular breeds – such as poodle-crosses – often targeted by puppy farmers for profit.

5 mins