Canine Law & Legal Issues - Information Guide for Dog Owner's.
I Dog Laws I Dog Legislation Articles & News I
I Dog Owner's Literature & Information I Judicial Decisions-Case Law I
There are a wide variety of canine laws currently applicable to dogs and their owners. Do you know about which laws affect you as a dog owner? Here we take a look at some, but not all, of those currently in force in England & Wales and how they affect dog owners.
Where possible we have provided links to similar legislation affecting Scotland and Northern Ireland.
We hope that you find the information both interesting and informative. If you would like to submit information for inclusion - please contact us.
For information relating to prohibited dogs - the breed specific component of the Dangerous Dogs Act Legislation - please click here.
The information contained here does not constitute legal advice in and of itself. You must contact a Solicitor for advice before acting upon anything that you read on this web site.
For help with finding a solicitor who has experience with canine legislation - please contact us.
Welfare & Protection of Dogs - the Animal Welfare Act places a duty of care on all dog owners.
Dog Control Orders & Bye-laws - local authority control orders which affect dog owners.
Stray Dogs - seizure and detainment by local authorities. Lost and found dogs.
Dog Identification - legal requirement for owner identification on dog.
Dangerous Dogs Act - Section Three - criminal action which can be applied to any dog of any breed or type, in England & Wales. Section Three of the Act refers to the keeping of dogs under proper control. Scotland has passed it's own legislation extending section three.
Dogs Act 1871 - a civil complaint heard at a Magistrates’ Court, the Act can be applied to both public and private places and looks at whether a dog is dangerous.
Dangerous Dogs - unmuzzled ferocious dogs at large
Guard Dogs - the use of guard dogs.
Livestock Protection - protection of livestock on agricultural land.
Civil Liability - the Animals Act 1971 relates to liability for damage caused by dogs.
Dog Fouling & Barking Dogs - abatement notice can be issued for nuisance. Dog fouling-owner responsibility.
Breeding of Dogs - requirement for local authority issued licence and regulations.
Dogs on the Road - dogs on leash, reporting accidents and motorway breakdowns.
Electric Shock Collars - Wales
Hunting With Dogs - the Hunting Act 2004 commenced in February 2005.
The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 - extension of section three of the Dangerous Dogs Act and Dog Control Notices, commenced at the end of February 2011
Dogs (Amendment) Act Northern Ireland 2011 - New legislation passed.
Dog Law News, Articles, Letters:
New Dog Laws Update - The Amendments along with new dog law is now within the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill which is on the government’s legislative agenda - it is now underway to become an Act – new legislation, which is far reaching, for all dogs and their owners. May 2013
Amendment Bill Inquiry - EFRA Committee invites your views on draft Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill, how to respond. April 2013
New dog law proposed - Government has published a draft Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill 2013 - further information, analysis and our views on the Bill. April 2013
Defra Plans - changes proposed and affecting all dogs and their owners in England. The facts and bare essentials on what is planned. Feb. 2013
Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill - Your opinions are being sought in a public consultation which is asking for your views on a proposed Bill - the Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill affecting dogs and their families in Wales - Deadline is 1st March 2013
New dog law proposed for Wales - Welsh Assembly proposes changes and announces new 'control of dogs' bill. August 2012
Sentencing Guideline - new guidelines published for courts sentencing under Dangerous Dogs Act. June 2012
Microchipping of Dogs - Public Consultation launched by Welsh Government, how to have you say. May 2012
Public Consultation - How to take part in the consultation launched by government concerning its proposals affecting dogs in England. April '12
Defra Announcement - Government's long awaited proposals to 'tackle irresponsible dog ownership' declared. April '12
Sentencing Council - A public consultation asking for your views on new sentencing proposals (England & Wales) for dangerous dog offences. Jan.2012
The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act - Now fully approved by the Scottish Parliament and law. We take at look at how the new law will affect dog owners and their dogs in two major ways. March 2011
The Dogs Control Bill (Lord Resedale) passed the committee stage on 4th March and was voted onto the report stage (next session in parliamentary process). March 2011
The Welfare of Animals Bill Northern Ireland was given final approval on 22nd February & will change 30yr old existing welfare law as well as introduce new measures. Feb.2011
Compulsory Microchipping - an Early Day Motion is asking for MPs to show their support for the compulsory microchipping of dogs to become law. Sept. 2010
The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 - Now fully approved by the Scottish Parliament and law. We take at look at how the new law will affect dog owners and their dogs in two major ways. June 2010
Defra Consultation Information - As the 1st of June deadline approaches if you haven't already participated this is your last opportunity to respond to the Defra public consultation on dangerous dogs and have your say. May 2010
Dog Law Seminars - presented by solicitor Trevor Cooper, content, dates & locations.
Dog Law Update - Wales becomes the first part of the UK to ban the use of electric shock collars on dogs and cats - the Animal Welfare (Electronic Collars) (Wales) Regulations is now law. April 2010
The Bateson Report - After a ten month long inquiry into dog breeding, Professor Sir Patrick Bateson FRS called for a non-statutory Advisory Council on Dog Breeding, changes in the law including a requirement for all puppies to be micro-chipped prior to sale, and an up-graded Accredited Breeder Scheme. Jan. 2010
Animal Welfare Codes - DEFRA have published new animal welfare codes which provide owners and keepers with information on how to meet the welfare needs of their animals, as required under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which was introduced in April 2007. December 2009
DEFRA Press Release - Getting tough on irresponsible dog owners. June 2008
Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill - Alex Neil is a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) standing for Central Scotland. He has produced a proposal to 'modernise the law on dangerous dogs' and is asking for groups and individuals to contact him with their opinions, questions and comments regarding his proposal. Your dog may be affected! January 2008
Education and Understanding Is Crucial - EDDR Statement 4 Jan 2008 In response to the fatal dog attack in Yorkshire on 28th December
Letter to the Times Newspaper - by Kendal Shepherd MRCVS, following tragic fatal dog attack, Jan 2008
Lucy the Dachshund is cleared. Facing a possible death sentence under the Dangerous Dogs Act, eleven months later the Magistrates Court finds her not guilty. September 2007
Dogs & the Law - an article which looks at dogs and the law, reproduced here with permission from Dr. Roger Mugford at the Company of Animals.
Animal Welfare Bill becomes law - The Animal Welfare Bill received Royal Assent on 8th November 2006, having completed all stages through Parliament. It is now known as the Animal Welfare Act 2006. April 2007
EDDR Canine legislation update - Clean Neighbourhoods and Environmental Bill. March 2005
Pet Markets - MP Questions Minister on Government proposals that would re-introduce markets selling domestic and wild-caught animals, birds and reptiles.
See also our news archives & newsletter
Information & Literature:
Released Dogs Advice - this help sheet is for pet dogs which have been returned home having been held by the authorities eg, under the Dangerous Dogs Act section 3 – which is applicable to all dogs. Also available on PDF for you to print out.
Control of Dogs - DEFRA Leaflet - Control of Dogs, the Law, and You, produced in 2008. You could be breaking the law by allowing your dog to be dangerously out of control.
Animal Welfare Act - DEFRA guidelines which will help dog owners understand the legislation and their duties under it.
Welfare of Dogs (PDF 1.3 MB) - Codes of Practice for dog owners to help meet the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Published by Defra.
Legal Judgments - Judicial Decisions & Case Law:
For Dangerous Dogs Act Section One Case Law - click here
Dangerous Dogs Act - Section Three:
Bogdal v. Regina 2008 - England & Wales Court of Appeal Decision (Criminal Division) Re: Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 - public place
Christopher Cummings v. DPP 1999 - England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions. Re: Dangerous Dogs Act, Section 3 - public place discussed
Dino the German Shepherd dog - on death row is reprieved by Judge ending historic mammoth legal struggle to save him.
Flack v. Regina 2008 - England & Wales Court of Appeal Decision (Criminal Division) Re: Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 - dangerously out of control - destruction order & contingent destruction order
Gedminintaite v. Regina 2008 - England & Wales Court of Appeal Decision (Criminal Division) Re: Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 - dangerously out of control
Harter v.Regina 1997 - England & Wales Criminal Court Criminal Division Decision. August 1997
Holland v. Regina 2002 - England & Wales Criminal Court Division Decision. June 2002
Rafiq v DPP  161 JP 412 DC - No requirement for apprehension to precede injury, act of dog causing injury to a person is itself conduct giving grounds for reasonable apprehension of injury. Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Section 3(1).
Terence Swankie v. Procurator Fiscal - Peterhead 1998 Scottish High Court of Justiciary Decision. Re: Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 Section 3 - appeal against destruction order - Scotland
Dogs Act 1871:
Briscoe v. Shattock 1998 High Court Of Justice - Queen's Bench Division.
The Queen On The Application Of Neil Shufflebottom (Claimant) -v- Chief Constable Of Greater Manchester Police (Defendant) 2003 England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions. Re: Dogs Act 1871 section 2 & court jurisdiction
Henderson v Mckenzie  - Meaning of dangerous includes dangerous to animals, including other dogs. Dogs Act 1871
Philip v Wright  - Dog owner's private property where other people have the right of access (eg postman) included in Dogs Act 1871
R v Trafford Magistrates Court ex p Riley  - proceedings invalid if the dog's owner is not informed of the time and place of the complaint - Dogs Act 1871
Metropolitan Police Act 1839 & Town Police Clauses Act 1847:
Ross v Evans  2 QB 79 - A dog on a lead is not at 'large'.
Keddle v Payn  1 All ER 189 - Distinction between a dangerous & ferocious dog.
Animals Act 1971:
Chauhan v Paul - England & Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decision. Feb.1998
Back to Top
Copyright © 2008-2012 Endangered Dogs Defence and Rescue Ltd