DDA in brief

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 In Brief(as amended 1997)

It is important for all dog owners to be aware of their rights and responsibilities under current legislation. We have provided detailed articles on the website but here’s a brief guide to the most commonly used current laws.

Section 1

It is a criminal offence to own or be in possession of the following four breeds and breed ‘types’.

  • The Japanese Tosa
  • Fila Brasiliero
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Pit Bull Terrier

Section 1 is the only part of the Act that is breed specific. The police have power of seizure and there is a presumption for destruction UNLESS the courts are satisfied that the dog poses no danger to public safety.

Section 3

  1. It is a criminal offence for any person, whether owner or person in charge to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place, or a private place in which the dog is not permitted to be.
  2. This section of the Act applies to ALL dogs, whether pure bred, cross bred or mongrel.
  3. A dog does not have to injure a person to be dangerously out of control. It simply needs to cause apprehension that it may cause injury.
  4. The owner and/or person in charge of a dog that does cause injury is guilty of an aggravated offence under the Act and the penalties will be higher.

Criminal charges can be brought under Section 1 AND Section 3 if the dog is one to which Section 1 applies and which has caused injury or fear of injury.

Dogs Act 1871

Civil application which can be brought by ANY person against the owner of a dog in any place whether public or private.

There is no power of seizure under this Act and no presumption for destruction. The courts MAY order destruction however they are more likely to impose a control order with or without restrictions.

For a more detailed explanation, and for information on other dog related legislation please see the relevant sections on the site.