The Metropolitan Police predicts that around 300 dangerous dogs will be destroyed this year as a result of operations carried out by the Status Dogs Unit (SDU). This follows a 7% rise in dangerous dog seizures in London last year – only 56 of the dogs seized were deemed suitable for rehoming. The SDU – formed in 2009 – is a specialist branch of the Met Police that deals exclusively with dangerous dogs.
Types of dangerous dog
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 introduced ‘breed specific legislation’ that bans the ownership, breeding, selling, or giving away of four types of dog:
- Fila Brasileiro
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
Breaching the legislation may result in a fine of up to £5,000 and a potential prison sentence of up to six months.
Dangerous dogs – police action
There are several circumstances under which the police may take action against a suspected dangerous dog:
- A report of a dog being encouraged to fight other dogs
- A report of a banned breed that has not been granted exemption
- A report of breeding, selling, abandoning, or giving away a banned breed
- A report that a dog has been dangerously out of control (i.e. causing or threatening injury)
There are an estimated 10 million pet dogs in the UK. If you think that you may be in possession of a banned breed, you may qualify for an “exemption” if the police deem that your animal does not pose a threat. Qualifying for an exemption involves a court procedure that may impose conditions such as muzzling in public.
Dog attacks – expert advice
If you have been attacked by a dog, even where the dog did not cause physical harm, you may be entitled to compensation. Whatever your experience involving a dangerous dog attack, speak to our expert team of personal injury solicitors today to discover how we could help you. For further information, call 0800 888 6 888 or email [email protected]