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«Dangerous Dogs Law Guidance for Enforcers Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Nobel House 17 Smith Square London SW1P 3JR Telephone: ...»

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13 The meaning of dangerous includes dangerous to animals, including other dogs (Henderson v McKenzie [1876]).

14 This is not confined to a public place but extends to the owner’s private property where other people have the right of access (Philip v Wright [1940]). For example a postman in a front garden. Whether a dog is under control or not is a question of fact, not of law (Wren v Pocock [1876]) 15 Proceedings will be invalidated if the owner of the dog is not informed of the time and place of the complaint (R v Trafford Magistrates Court ex p Riley [1996]) 16 As defined by s3 of AWA 17 NB. The part concerned with video recordings has not been brought into force yet.

18 The welfare needs of an animal are set out in the Act and include the need: for a suitable environment (place to live), for a suitable diet, to exhibit normal behaviour patterns, to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (as applicable), to be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease.

12 Annex 1

Enforcement provisions

• Section 10 enables an inspector19 appointed under the Act to issue a statutory improvement notice to someone if they do not meet the welfare needs of their animal as set out in s9.

(The RSPCA issues non-statutory advice notices as well.)

• Section 18 provides police constables or an inspector appointed under the Act with various powers to deal with an animal in distress.

• Section 19 provides for a right of entry to deal with an animal in distress as per s18.

It does not provide a power of entry for the purposes of removing anything other than the animal in distress.

• Section 22 provides a power of entry, search and seizure for police concerning animals involved in fighting offences under s8. Note this does not apply to any part of a building used as a private dwelling. However a warrant may be obtained to enter a private dwelling.

• Section 23 allows for a warrant to be issued to search for evidence in relation to offences created by s4, s8 and s9.

• Section 24 amends s17(1)(c) PACE. It provides a specific power for police constables only to enter premises for arrest in relation to s4, s8(1) and s8(2) only. There is no power of entry for offences created by s9 for the purpose of arrest.

Further consideration

• For further information and advice about any offences under the AWA please contact your local RSPCA inspector – this is an area of the law they have a great deal of expertise in.

19 This does not refer to an RSPCA inspector.

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Identifying Pit Bull Terrier (PBT) types The following information is aimed to provide a starting point for identifying Pit Bull Terrier (PBT) types. It should not be seen as an exhaustive list of characteristics and further expert advice and guidance must be sought at an early stage.

There are no photographs provided to assist with this as these animals can look very different yet have a substantial number of characteristics present and be considered a PBT.

If you cannot obtain advice from your local DLO and need assistance in identifying an alleged s1 dog you may contact the Status Dogs Unit at the Metropolitan Police at statusdogs@met.police.uk The standard used to identify a PBT is set out in the American Dog Breeders Association standard of conformation as published in the Pit Bull Gazette, vol 1, issue 3 1977 – please refer to this for the full description and also relevant cases20 as this is only a brief overview. Although the law does not require a suspected PBT to fit the description perfectly, it does require there to be a substantial number of characteristics present so that it can be considered ‘more’ PBT than any other type of dog.

• When first viewing the dog it should appear square from the side, and its height to the top of its shoulders should be the same distance as from the front of its shoulder to the rear point of its hip.

• Its height to weight ratio should be in proportion.

• Its coat should be short and bristled, (single coated).

• Its head should appear to be wedge shaped when viewed from the side and top but rounded when viewed from the front. The head should be around 2/3 width of shoulders and 25 per cent wider at cheeks than at the base of the skull (this is due to the cheek muscles).

• The distance from the back of the head to between the eyes should be about equal to the distance from between the eyes to the tip of its nose.

• The dog should have a good depth from the top of head to bottom of jaw and a straight box-like muzzle.

• Its eyes should be small and deep-set, triangular when viewed from the side and elliptical from front.

• Its shoulders should be wider than the rib cage at the eighth rib.

• Its elbows should be flat with its front legs running parallel to the spine.

• Its forelegs should be heavy and solid and nearly twice the thickness of the hind legs just below the hock.

• The rib cage should be deep and spring straight out from the spine, it should be elliptical in cross section tapering at the bottom and not ‘barrel’ chested.

• It should have a tail that hangs down like an old fashioned ‘pump handle’ to around the hock.

• It should have a broad hip that allows good attachment of muscles in the hindquarters and hind legs.

• Its knee joint should be in the upper third of the dog’s rear leg, and the bones below that should appear light, fine and springy.

• Overall the dog should have an athletic appearance, the standard makes no mention of ears, colour, height, or weight.

20 See also R v Knightsbridge Crown Court ex p Dunne; Brock v DPP [1993] 14 15 16 17 PB13225 March 2009

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