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Dog Safety and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

It is against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, such as:

  • in a public place
  • in a private place, for example, a neighbour’s house or garden
  • in the owner’s home

The law applies to all dogs.

You must make sure your dog is fitted with a microchip and registered on a database by the time it is 8 weeks old.

Dog Safety and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom prohibiting or restricting certain types of dogs and codifying the criminal offence of allowing a dog of any breed to be dangerously out of control. After a series of dog attacks in 1991, then Home Secretary Kenneth Baker promised "to rid the country of the menace of these fighting dogs". The Act has been controversial for failing to stem the rise of dog attacks and for focusing on a dog's breed or looks instead of an individual dog's behaviour. It was further amended in 1997 and applies in England, Wales and Scotland.

On 15 September 2023, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that XL Bully would be added to the Dangerous Dogs Act. It was designated on 31 December 2023 for England and Wales, and in Scotland on 23 February 2024.

The Act applies to five types of dogs:

National Guidance on Dogs

Controlling your dog in public: Overview - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Use the link to find out further information regarding:

  • Banned dogs
  • To report a dog
  • If the council has your missing dog
  • To report a stray dog
  • To get information on having your pet microchipped

 Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (legislation.gov.uk)

XL Bully conformation standard - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Further National Animal Information

Useful resources for keeping children safe around any dogs

Be alert, be aware, be safe.

If you have further concerns regarding a dog you believe to be a banned breed, or to report a dog that is out of control,  please contact South Yorkshire police


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