In the UK, it’s against the law to own certain types of dog.
These are the:
It’s also against the law to: sell, abandon, give away, breed from a banned dog.
Whether your dog is a banned type depends on what it looks like, rather than its breed or name.
Example: If your dog matches many of the characteristics of a Pit Bull Terrier, it may be a banned type.
If you have a banned dog, the police or local council dog warden can take it away and keep it, even if:
The police may need permission from a court to do this. If your dog is in:
A police or council dog expert will judge what type of dog you have and whether it is (or could be) a danger to the public. Your dog will then either be:
While you wait for the court decision, you’re not allowed to visit your dog.
You can give up ownership of your dog but you can’t be forced to. If you do, your dog could be destroyed without you even going to court.
It’s your responsibility to prove your dog is not a banned type.
If you prove this, the court will order the dog to be returned to you. If you can’t prove it (or you plead guilty), you’ll be convicted of a crime.
The maximum penalty for having a banned dog against the law is a £5,000 fine and/or 6 months in prison. Your dog will also be destroyed.
If your dog is banned but the court thinks it’s not a danger to the public, it may put it on the IED and let you keep it.
You’ll be given a Certificate of Exemption. This is valid for the life of the dog.
Your dog must be:
As the owner, you must: