1. ITV Report

RSPCA calls for Dangerous Dogs Act to be revised

Pit bull terrier's are one of the dogs named on the Dangerous Dogs Act. Credit: Lauren Hurley / PA Wire

The RSPCA is calling for the government to revise the Dangerous Dogs Act and stop the 'needless' deaths of hundreds of animals.

The animal charity said the Act was leading to hundreds of dogs being put down unnecessarily because of the way they look rather than the danger they pose.

In the past two years the RSPCA said it had been "forced" to put down 366 dogs under section one of the Act, which covers breed-specific offences.

Under the law hundreds of dogs classified as 'dangerous' are destroyed. Credit: Dominic Lipinski / PA Archive

Under the law the following breeds are banned:

  • Pit bull terrier
  • Japanese tosa
  • Dogo argentino
  • Fila braziliero

Launching its report 'Breed Specific Legislation: A Dog's Dinner', the charity called on the government to probe the effectiveness of section one, urging it to be repealed completely.

The organisation said there was not enough evidence to show that such legislation reduced dog bites and called into question the evidence required to classify a dog as being of a prohibited type.

The police, the RSPCA and other animal rescue organisations have to deal with the consequences of this flawed law by euthanising hundreds of dogs because legislation is forcing us to due to the way they look, despite being suitable for rehoming.

Not only is this a huge ethical and welfare issue, it also places significant emotional strain on staff.

– RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines