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Dangerous dogs: assessment and legislation


In May 2014 the amended Dangerous Dogs Act came into effect in England and Wales. It included legislative changes making it an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control in any place. Tougher penalties were also introduced for irresponsible owners, and a specific new offence if a dog attacks an assistance dog.


Banned dogs

In the UK, it is against the law to own the following types of dog:

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

For more information about banned dogs - Controlling your dog in public - Overview - Banned dogs - Public Spaces Protection Orders


Government legislations


Position Statements


A selection of related references

A list of references is available from the 'Related documents' box.

  • Tudor, N. (2013) Law, ethics and professional practice - Part 1: euthanasia of healthy, but aggressive, dogs. Veterinary Nursing Journal, 28(2), pp. 58-59.
  • Martlew, Eric (Chair) (2008) Dangerous dogs - an AGPAW mini-report May 2008. The Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare.
  • González Martínez, Á ... et al. (2011) Risk factors associated with behavioral problems in dogs. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 6(4), pp. 225-231
  • Ott, S. A.; Schalke, E.; Gaertner, A. M. von; Hackbarth, H. (2008) Is there a difference? Comparison of golden retrievers and dogs affected by breed-specific legislation regarding aggressive behavior. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, 3(3), pp. 134-140


In the Library, we have the following publications:

  • Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding (2014) Summary of progress since the Bateson Report of 2010
  • Crispin, Sheila (2012) The Council's report on the first 8 welfare priorities. Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding.
  • Bateson, Patrick (2010) The independent inquiry into dog breeding.
  • Stafford, Kevin (2007) The welfare of dogs.
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