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Offences relating to dogs

This content applies to England

Legal remedies for offences relating to dogs.

Where an owner fails to exercise proper control of a dog, s/he may be liable to a fine[1] and can be prohibited from keeping a dog for a certain period.[2] Certain breeds of dogs, deemed to be dangerous, are required to be muzzled and kept on a lead in a public place.[3] Offences are punishable by a fine or imprisonment. The court may also order the destruction of the dog.[4] Councils are able to designate areas, for example play areas on housing estates, in which dog fouling is an offence.[5] Owners (with the exception of registered blind people) who fail to clear up dog faeces can be fined.[6]

[1] s.6 Dangerous Dogs Act 1989.

[2] s.1(b) Dangerous Dogs Act 1989.

[3] s.1(2)(d) Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

[4] s.4 Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, as amended by s.107 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[5] s.2 Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996.

[6] s.3 Dogs (Fouling of Land) 1996; Dogs Fouling (Fixed Penalties) Order 1996 SI 1996/2763.

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