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the complete list of dogs that are prohibited in the UK along with the consequences for dog owners


Full list of dog breeds banned in UK as Rishi Sunak confirms XL Bully to be added

VIDEO: Full list of banned dog breeds in the UK
Liverpool ECHO

It is illegal to own some dogs in the UK with certain breeds banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act. As the American XL Bully is to be added to the list, we take a look at what the law means and the exemptions

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What is the law on dangerous dogs?

Dog attacks have risen by more than a third over the past five years, with devastating maulings by American XL Bully dogs hitting the headlines. Of the 10 fatal dog attacks in the UK last year, more than half involved the newly popular breed - but it hasn't stopped Brits from owning them as pets.

Last weekend, an XL Bully crossbreed savaged an 11-year-old girl and two men on a busy shopping street in Birmingham and most recently, a 10-year-old boy was filmed as he was mauled by a dog outside his home. Earlier this week, Home Secretary Suella Braverman called the weekend attack "appalling" and revealed she had commissioned urgent advice on banning the dogs, which often weigh twice as much as a Labrador. And now, Rishi Sunak has announced he is to ban XL Bully dogs as they are a "danger to our communities" by the end of the year.

In a video posted on his Twitter, Mr Sunak said on Friday: "The American XL Bully Dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children. I share the nation's horror at the recent videos we've all seen. Yesterday we saw another suspected XL Bully Dog attack, which has tragically led to a fatality. It's clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs. It's a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on.

"While owners already have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control, I want to reassure people that we are urgently working on ways to stop these attacks and protect the public. Today I have tasked ministers to bring together police and experts to firstly define the breed of dog behind these attacks with a view to then outlawing it. It is not currently a breed defined in law, so this vital first step must happen fast. We will then ban the breed under the dangerous dogs and new laws will be in place by the end of the year. These dogs are dangerous. I want to reassure the public that we will take all necessary steps to keep people safe."

In the UK, it is against the law to own certain types of dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Since being introduced by the government in 1991, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs responsible for adding dogs, four breeds are currently illegal to own. Here, we take a look at the banned breeds and what the legislation says...

Which dog breeds are banned in the UK?

VIDEO: The Most Banned Dog Breeds In The World
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A Dogo Argentino, also known as the Argentine Mastiff, is a large, white, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina primarily for purpose of big-game hunting, including wild boar

There are four breeds of dog that are banned in the UK. They are the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro. The Pit Bull Terrier, which was bred in England, and the Japanese Tosa, which came from Asia, were bred specifically with fighting in mind.

Blood sports such as bear baiting and dog fighting took place in a pit. While the other two illegal breeds, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Braziliero, were bred to hunt large animals in South America but also became popular in dog fighting.

The act states that it's against the law to own a banned dog, as well as sell, abandon, give away or breed a banned dog under the Breed Specific Legislation. However, the government states that "whether your dog is a banned type depends on what it looks like, rather than its breed or name."

The RSPCA argues that dogs "should not be judged on how they look" and has called for the policy to be changed. The charity published a report last year called Breed Specific Legislation: A Dog's Dinner, which outlines their proposed solutions and recommendations.

Two adult Fila Brasileiro (

Image:

Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Battersea's canine behaviourist and training manager, Rob Bays, says there are many faults with the 'old-fashioned' list. Speaking to the Mirror, Rob said: "The law came into play a long time ago and since we've seen 3,000 exempt dogs on the list. Whilst the breed has been previously believed to be the indicator, it doesn't actually come into it.

"Fundamentally, it's about responsible pet ownership and educating yourself on the characteristics of your pet. The dog's environment has a huge impact." Battersea is in favour of scrapping the BSL entirely and instead believes it's important to educate the public on body language signs a dog may act aggressively. Rob explained: "It all comes down to people understanding their dogs.

"If we can educate people and encourage everybody to take that approach, we should be able to reduce the amount of attacks." He explains that it is possible to prevent a dog from becoming dangerous in the first place."

But what if I own a banned breed?

VIDEO: Banned Dogs vs Dangerous Dogs
BlackBeltBarrister
A young male Japanese Tosa (

Image:

Getty Images)

If you have a banned dog the police or council warden can take it away, even if it's not acting dangerously or there has not been a complaint. If the dog is in a public place the police can confiscate the animal, however, if it's in a private place the police need a warrant.

Experts will then judge what type of dog you have and whether it is a danger to the public, this will decide whether the dog is released or not. Once in court, the owner will have to prove it is not a banned type. If the owner can prove this, the court will order the dog to be returned to you.

If you can't prove it, or if you plead guilty, you'll be convicted of a crime. For this you can get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months, or both. Your dog will also be destroyed, according to the government website.

Do you think American XL bully dogs should be banned? Vote in our poll HERE to have your say.

What are the exemptions?

VIDEO: TOP 10 ILLEGAL DOG BREEDS
Animaltube

If you can prove a dog's safe and not a danger to the public, despite it being a banned breed, you may be able to keep it. It may be put on the Index of Exempted Dogs and you'll be given a Certificate of Exemption.

It lasts for the duration of the dogs life but the dog must be neutered, microchipped, kept on a lead and muzzled at all times when in public. It must also be kept in a secure place so it cannot escape and the owner must be aged over 16 and has to take out insurance against the dog injuring other people.

The owner must also show a Certificate of Exemption when asked by a police officer or council dog warden, either at the time or within five days. In this case, you must let the Index of Exempted Dogs know if you change your address, or if your dog dies.

The Mirror is calling for these changes:

1. The overhaul of the Dangerous Dogs Act . An urgent review of the law is needed and tougher penalties should be considered.

2. Enforce the rules to stop the illegal and irresponsible breeding and selling of dogs.

3. A public information campaign to promote the importance of responsible dog ownership and the need for training.

The Mirror is campaigning for the Dangerous Dogs Act to be overhauled, with tougher penalties to be considered. We also demand the proper enforcement of rules to stop the illegal and irresponsible breeding and selling of dogs. And the Government should launch a campaign to promote responsible dog ownership.

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