Non Breed Specific
Section 3- DDA 1991
Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 makes it an offence for any dog to be dangerously out of control in a public or private place. The offence is deemed to have been committed by the owner of the dog and by whoever is in charge of the dog at the time of the offence. This means that if you, as owner, allow another person to be in charge of your dog and an incident occurs, you can be liable.
If you, as owner, leave the dog with someone you have good reason to believe is a fit and proper person to be in charge of your dog and you can prove this, then you may have a defence.
If the dog is claimed to be owned by a child under 16, or if you leave a dog with a child under 16 then the law can deem the head of that child's household or the dogs owner to be responsible. If, while dangerously out of control, your dog injures a person, a much greater offence has been committed.
Section 3 - Not Breed Specific
Section 3 is not breed specific. This means it apply to ALL dogs regardless of their breed or cross breed. Young,old, pedigree or mongrel any dog and owner can be charged under this section. This confuses many people who, wrongly, believe the DDA is all about Pit Bull Types. It is not. If you own a dog, this section applies to you too.
Dangerously out of Control
Dangerously out of control has been defined in law as " Any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that a dog will injure any person" This means that a dog may be deemed to be dangerously out of control even if it does not actually injure someone. If a person has grounds for reasonable apprehension the dog will injure them, then there could also be grounds for charges. This only applies to injury to people and recent changes to the act have also included injury to assistance dogs (guide dogs etc)
Public Place and Private Place
This section of the law did not, until changes to the act in 2014, apply to private property where the dog has a right to be, for example, the dogs own home. However since the introduction of new powers it now encompasses both public and private places including homes and gardens. There is a householder defence available if a trespasser is in or entering your dwelling and your dog is in or partially in the dwelling at the time of the incident, but this only applies to buildings which are dwellings and does not cover sheds gardens or garages.
Bullbreed Advisory Service © 2009