Wednesday, 12 August 2009

18 Years of the Dangerous Dogs Act

18 years ago today the Dangerous Dogs Act was passed through Parliament. The Bill was pushed through commons in just one day . It then proceeded to Lords, back to Commons and received Royal Assent in less than two months from start to finish. A little over two weeks from Royal assent, on the 12th August 1991, the Dangerous Dogs Act come into force.

To give some idea of just how quickly this bill was rushed in, the most recent equivalent is a mere amendment rather than a new bill, currently being suggested by Angela Smith . This received its first reading in commons on the 1st June 2009. Its second reading will not be until October 16th 2009, more time than it took to bring in the draconian DDA.

So here we are 18 years later. Dog attacks are all but non existent, dog fighting has been eradicated as there are no more pit bull type dogs around and all is well with the world. … right? Of course not but it seems unlike most of us, Defra is still in the half conscious slumber its been in for the last 18 years, seemingly, neither caring nor even commenting on its bizarre instance to continue with a piece of legislation that has failed in the most horrific way.

16 years after the act came into force a child died from injuries sustained during an attack from a “pit bull type”. The law failed to protect her too. Now Defra trot out the same phrases about the need for enforcement, the systematic rounding up of dogs who measure up in inches regardless of the temperament of the dog.

Defra and co seem to think we are stupid.

We have had four fatalities in recent years and the link isn’t the breed or cross of the dog, it’s the ownership. Each and every time an error was made, a human error. Our response to that error is to to round up and kill the dog. We are human, we make mistakes but the one thing that is meant to make us the most superior species is our ability to process that error and learn from it. Defra refuse to do this.

The Met police are hitting many festivals and carnivals in London again this year. They are likely to seize over 1000 dogs by the end of this year. Its looking to cost around 2 million pounds of tax payers money. They aren’t the only ones doing the killing. Dogs are dying in the care of those who swore to protect, hidden behind a wall of silence. All because of a law that does not work , can never work and the authorities and other organisations refusal to do anything about it.

Unless you, the reader, speak up, we can look forward to another 18 years.


  1. The DDA is sheer insanity. It is the person that makes the dog. A dog is only a reflection of the training and treatement it has received.

    Banning a breed of dog cannot be justified. By stereotyping a breed of dog as “dangerous”, lawmakers mistakenly oversimplify the problem of dog aggression, and innocent dogs, like Bruce, get caught in the ensuing legal crossfire. When responsible dog owners are forced to use all reasonable measures to stop government from killing their beloved dog — something is seriously wrong as you have witnessed by the international outcry for N. Ireland to return Bruce to his heartbroken family.

    In the hopes that lawmakers will study reliable and factual information on this subject, an excellent five year study was published in the Cincinnati Law Review in 1982, vol. 53, which specifically considered both Rottweilers and "Pit Bulls" and concluded in part that:

    · The statistics did not support the assertion that any one breed was dangerous.

    · When legislation is focused on the type of dog, it fails because it is unenforceable, confusing, and costly.

    · Focusing legislation on dogs that are "vicious" distracts attention from the real problem, which is irresponsible dog ownership.

    In light of this and numerous other studies (available on request), I urge you to pursue legislation that would render owners liable for the actions of their pets. It is not the automobile that kills innocent people; it is the irresponsible driver of that vehicle. Seek to punish the actions of negligent dog owners and remove dogs at risk.

    To be useful, legislation must be effective, enforceable, economical, and reasonably fair. Any form of legislative discrimination would fail in all of these areas, punish responsible dog owning citizens, and worst of all will not protect the public from dog attacks. Please remember that any dog can bite and seriously injure people, regardless of its breed.

    Only with the proper training and socialization can we ensure that all dogs will be welcomed neighbors in society. This is the responsibility and duty of every dog owner, and those who fail this task are the ones who put the public at risk. To be responsible legislators, you must make laws that apply to people, not dogs.

  2. Fantastic post. Totally agree with every word.

  3. I myself owned several pitbulls and i can tell you if they are trained to be ruthless and pshcotic then they will be. it is only with constant tempermental traing that they can be ok. my dogs wrer all fine and wouldnt harm a fly but i was never complacent enough to let him off the lead or near children. This is why they get a bad rep as bad owners get complacent and allow their dog more lieniancy than should be allowed.

  4. Extending your logic to gun ownership we could say "guns don't kill people, people kill people'. That insane thinking allows Americans to kill each other with ease. Remove the weapon and you remove the danger. All dangerous dogs should be removed from their 'owners'. What is a dangerous dog? Any dog that is not fully controlled or is used in an aggressive manner. Quite rightly the government has identified breeds that have be selected by the vicious members of our society, and used by them to bully and intimidate. There is no right whatsoever to own a particular breed of dog. This site might gain some credibility if it concentrated on protecting our society and not the imagined right to terrorise with dangerous animals.

  5. Concerned Adult1 December 2009 08:42

    You wouldn't leave a loaded gun lying around in a house, these pit bull type dogs are so dangerous they should not be allowed in a house with children.
    The owners say they dog's are friendly to children, get a life they are fatal to children.
    The sooner all these dogs are destroyed the better.

  6. At the risk of repeating myself destroying all dogs that are deemed pit bull type will never stop fatal (or non fatal) incidents. Dogs can and do bite in the right or wrong circumstances. The problem with dog bite incidents is that we do nothing practical to tackle the issue.

    Anyone can get a dog. This should not be the case. Every potential dog owner should have to prove they are knowledgable about dog ownership before they obtain one. Then we will see an improvement.

  7. Anyone who wants to keep any dog should have license and if that dog then goes on to kill a person of any age the owner should then be prosecuted for murder. All dogs should be muzzled and on a lead in public. If not then all persons should be allowed to arm themselves against dog attacks (knife / baton / pepper spray). I have found most dog owners to be selfish and more interested in the dogs welfare than a person. If more dog ownwers went to prison or received like for like punishment for their pets attacks maybe they would act in a more responsible manner.