Law Lords uphold test-case ruling on dangerous dogs

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The Independent Online
THE HOUSE of Lords has ruled that restrictions introduced by the Dangerous Dogs Act apply to any animal with the characteristics of a pit-bull terrier, not merely to dogs of that breed.

The decision of three Law Lords, Lords Templeman, Browne Wilkinson and Woolf upholds a High Court test-case decision last year.

Gary Dunne, 23, of Stoke Newington, north London, had sought to challenge the High Court decision which upheld an earlier ruling at Knightsbridge Crown Court that his dog, Judd, came under the provisions of the Act.

The Act makes it an offence to keep any dog 'of the type known as the pit-bull terrier' unless it has been neutered, tattooed, microchipped and registered.

Mr Dunne argued that in order for these restrictions to apply, the dog had to be a pit-bull terrier, not merely a dog with similar characteristics.

But in last year's High Court decision, Lord Justice Glidewell, sitting with Mr Justice Cresswell, said that a dog could be treated as a pit bull if it was near to or had 'the substantial characteristics' of the breed using the standard laid down by the American Dog Breeders' Association as a yardstick.

The Law Lords upheld that decision and rejected an application by Mr Dunne for leave to appeal against it.