Introduction: Pitbull breed dogs in the UK
Pitbull breed dogs have been highly controversial in the UK for many years, due to their reputation as aggressive and dangerous dogs. The UK government has implemented strict laws and regulations for owning and breeding pitbulls, in an effort to protect the public from potential harm. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the consequences of owning a pitbull breed dog and the legal repercussions that can arise as a result.
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was introduced in the UK to regulate the ownership and breeding of certain breeds of dogs that are considered to be dangerous. The Act was amended in 1997 to extend the regulations to cover any dog that is deemed to be dangerous. The Act is enforced by the police and local authorities, who have the power to seize and destroy any dog that is found to be a danger to the public.
Prohibited breeds of dogs
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 lists four breeds of dogs that are prohibited in the UK: the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro. The Act also covers any dog that appears to be predominantly of one of these breeds, or any dog that is deemed to be dangerous by its behaviour. It is important to note that owning or breeding any of these breeds of dogs is illegal in the UK, regardless of whether the dog has been trained or is well-behaved.
What is a pitbull breed dog?
A pitbull breed dog is a type of dog that includes the American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Staffordshire Terrier. These dogs are known for their muscular build, powerful jaws, and high energy levels. Pitbull breed dogs were originally bred for dog fighting and were used for hunting and guarding. Due to their history and reputation, pitbull breed dogs are often viewed as aggressive and dangerous, which has led to the strict regulations surrounding their ownership in the UK.
Consequence of owning a pitbull breed dog
Owning a pitbull breed dog in the UK can have serious consequences. If a pitbull breed dog is found to be owned or bred in the UK, it will be seized by the authorities and destroyed, regardless of its behaviour. The owner of the dog may also face criminal charges and a fine, and may be banned from owning any dogs in the future. In addition, owning a pitbull breed dog without a valid exemption certificate is a criminal offence and can result in a prison sentence of up to six months.
Seizure of pitbull breed dogs
If a pitbull breed dog is found to be owned or bred in the UK, it will be seized by the authorities and taken to a secure location. The dog will be assessed by a specialist dog expert to determine its breed and behaviour. If the dog is found to be a pitbull breed dog or to pose a danger to the public, it will be destroyed. The owner of the dog will be notified of the seizure and will have the opportunity to appeal the decision.
Destruction of pitbull breed dogs
If a pitbull breed dog is found to be a danger to the public or is deemed to be a prohibited breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it will be destroyed. The destruction of the dog will be carried out by a veterinary surgeon and will be done in a humane manner. The owner of the dog will not be present during the destruction of the dog, but will be notified of the outcome.
Criminal charges for owning a pitbull breed dog
Owning a pitbull breed dog without a valid exemption certificate is a criminal offence in the UK. The owner of the dog may face criminal charges, a fine, and a ban on owning any dogs in the future. If the dog has caused injury to a person or another animal, the owner may also face additional criminal charges.
Defence against owning a pitbull breed dog
If a person is found to be owning a pitbull breed dog in the UK, they may be able to defend themselves against criminal charges if they can prove that the dog is not a pitbull breed dog or that it is not dangerous. This can be done through a DNA test or by providing evidence of the dog’s behaviour and training. However, it is important to note that the burden of proof is on the owner of the dog, and it can be difficult to prove that a dog is not a pitbull breed dog.
Options for rehoming a pitbull breed dog
If a person is no longer able to keep their pitbull breed dog, there are several options for rehoming the dog. One option is to surrender the dog to a reputable rescue centre or animal shelter. These organisations will assess the dog’s behaviour and find a suitable home for the dog. Another option is to find a reputable breeder who is willing to take on the dog and provide a suitable home. It is important to ensure that the new owner is aware of the legal requirements surrounding pitbull breed dogs in the UK.
Conclusion: Understanding the law on pitbull breed dogs
The law on pitbull breed dogs in the UK is strict and complex. It is important for dog owners to be aware of the legal requirements surrounding pitbull breed dogs and to ensure that they comply with these regulations. Owning a pitbull breed dog without a valid exemption certificate can have serious consequences, including the seizure and destruction of the dog, criminal charges, and a ban on owning any dogs in the future.
Resources for pitbull breed dog owners
There are several resources available for pitbull breed dog owners in the UK. The Kennel Club provides information on the breed and can advise on the legal requirements for owning a pitbull breed dog. The Blue Cross and RSPCA offer advice on rehoming pitbull breed dogs and can provide support to owners who are struggling to care for their dog. It is important for dog owners to seek advice and support if they are unsure of their legal obligations or are struggling to care for their dog.