Closed petition Remove breed specific legislation. Consider alternative methods for dog control.
Remove breed specific provisions in the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. We believe this legislation is unfair, not fit for purpose and has not had the desired results of limiting dog bites. It has had the result of family pets being destroyed, causing devastation to many families.
I believe that the current legislation is causing more harm than good. I have seen horrific accounts of how this legislation is being enforced.
I believe that it is primarily the rearing of a dog that determines the behaviour and not the breed. Dogs shouldn't be destroyed because of their breed.
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
This response was given on 21 December 2023
Following a concerning rise in attacks and fatalities caused by XL Bully type dogs, the Government has added this breed to the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
We recognise that some people are opposed to breed specific legislation and to the Government’s decision to add the ‘XL Bully’ to the list of types of dog prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. However, the Government firmly believes that these restrictions are necessary for public safety. We must balance the views of those who want to repeal or amend breed specific legislation with our responsibility to ensure that the public is properly protected from dog attacks.
We have seen an increase in dog attacks in recent years, including those causing injuries and fatalities, with the XL Bully being disproportionally involved in this rise. That is why we have taken decisive action to add XL Bully breed types to the list of breeds prohibited by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
We are supporting the police to deliver additional training to officers to make sure the ban is effectively enforced. We also continue to focus our efforts on ensuring that the full range of existing powers to tackle dog control issues are effectively applied across all breeds of dog. We will be continuing to work with the police, local authorities and animal welfare groups to help prevent attacks by encouraging responsible dog ownership, to ensure dog control issues are addressed before they escalate and to make sure the full force of the law is applied.
Owners whose dogs are dangerously out of control are already breaking the law, and we already have a full range of powers to apply penalties to them. Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, any dog that is dangerously out of control can be euthanised and their owners put in prison for up to 14 years and be banned from ever owning a dog.
We are also considering the role of education and training (for both dogs and their owners) in reducing the risk of dog attacks, as well as considering how we can improve data collection and recording and enforcement practices. Conclusions from this work are expected in due course These should address all aspects of tackling irresponsible dog ownership effectively, from prevention to robust, consistent enforcement, focussing on owners as well as on their dogs.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs