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Dangerous Dogs

Banned breed dogs

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, the banned breed dog types are:

  • Pit Bull Terriers - commonly known as: Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull type, American Staffordshire, Irish Staff, Irish Blue Staff
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro

These dogs are deemed to be dangerous because they were originally bred for their ability to fight.  Merseyside Police and St.Helens Council recommend that these dogs are not suitable as family pets.

It is an offence to own a banned breed dog.

If you think that you, or someone that you know, owns a banned breed dog then you should email Merseyside Police or telephone them on 0151 709 6010. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crimestoppers.

Merseyside Police has a team of officers trained to identify banned breed dogs. If a dog is identified as a possible banned breed the Police or, if in a public place, the Council’s Dog Welfare and Enforcement Officers, can seize it.

Once a dog has been seized and identified as a banned breed, the Court will decide if it is to be destroyed or to put strict restrictions on the owner and place the dog on an 'exempted list'. This list is called the Index of Exempted Dogs and is managed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The costs for this are passed onto the dog owner.

Dangerous dogs

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 does not only apply to banned breed dogs.  The law also gives protection to the public from any type of dog that is dangerously out of control in a public place, or in a private place.  If there is any dog of any type that is dangerously out of control in a public place both the Police and the Council have procedures in place to respond and take the appropriate action.

The law has been extended to protect assistance dogs, such as guide dogs and hearing assistance dogs.

The Police and / or the Council Dog Welfare and Enforcement officers may seize dogs that are believed to be a threat to the owner, their household or the general public.

For St Helens residents, the Dog Welfare and Enforcement officers are available between 8.00am and 5.00pm Monday - Friday to respond to dangerous dog incidents.  At all other times, dangerous dog incidents must be reported to the Police.

For further information, the Dog Welfare and Enforcement Service can be contacted on: 01744 676299 or email Environmental Health.

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