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The Dangerous Dogs Exemption Schemes (England and Wales) Order 2015

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This is the original version (as it was originally made).

Statutory Instruments

2015 No. 138

Dogs, England And Wales

The Dangerous Dogs Exemption Schemes (England and Wales) Order 2015

Made

4th February 2015

Laid before Parliament

10th February 2015

Coming into force

3rd March 2015

The Secretary of State makes this Order in exercise of the powers conferred by section 1(5), (6) and (6A) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991(1) and section 4(1)(c) of the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997(2).

PART 1Preliminary

Citation, commencement and extent

1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Dangerous Dogs Exemption Schemes (England and Wales) Order 2015 and comes into force on 3rd March 2015.

(2) This Order extends to England and Wales.

Interpretation

2.  In this Order—

the Act” means the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991;

“adult dog” means a dog aged six months or over;

“the Agency” means the person or body for the time being designated by the Secretary of State to discharge functions under this Order;

“person” means a natural person and does not include a body of persons corporate or unincorporate.

Payments to the Agency

3.  The Secretary of State must make such payments to the Agency in respect of the discharge by the Agency of functions under this Order as are agreed between them or, in default of agreement, as appear to the Secretary of State to be appropriate.

PART 2Court-Ordered Exemption Scheme

Exemption scheme conditions and requirements

4.—(1) The prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act shall not apply to a dog provided that—

(a)a court has determined that the dog is not a danger to public safety under section 4(1A) or 4B of the Act and has made the dog subject to a contingent destruction order under section 4A or 4B of the Act;

(b)the conditions set out in paragraph (2) are met in respect of the dog within the time period set out in paragraph (3); and

(c)the requirements attached to the certificate of exemption in accordance with article 10 are complied with throughout the lifetime of the dog.

(2) The conditions referred to in paragraph (1)(b) are that—

(a)the dog is neutered in accordance with article 6;

(b)the dog is microchipped in accordance with article 7;

(c)third-party insurance in respect of the dog is obtained in accordance with article 8; and

(d)a certificate of exemption is issued in accordance with article 9.

(3) Subject to any extension granted by the court under section 4A(2) of the Act, the conditions in articles 6 to 9 must be complied with—

(a)in the case of an adult dog, within two months beginning with the date the court makes a contingent destruction order;

(b)in the case of a dog under the age of six months on the date the court makes a contingent destruction order, within one month of the dog attaining six months.

Failure to meet the conditions or comply with the requirements

5.  A dog is not exempt under this Part from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act—

(a)if the conditions referred to in article 4(2) are not met within the time period specified in article 4(3); or

(b)if the requirements attached to the certificate of exemption in accordance with article 10 are not complied with at any time after the certificate is issued.

Neutering

6.—(1) A dog that is to be exempted from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act, unless already neutered to the satisfaction of the Agency, must—

(a)in the case of a male dog, be castrated;

(b)in the case of a female dog, be spayed.

(2) A procedure required by paragraph (1) must be carried out by a veterinary surgeon.

Microchipping

7.—(1) A dog that is to be exempted from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act must be implanted with a microchip, unless already microchipped to the satisfaction of the Agency, by a person who—

(a)is a veterinary surgeon, or a veterinary nurse acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon;

(b)is a student of veterinary surgery or a student veterinary nurse and in either case is acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon; or

(c)is satisfactorily assessed on a training course approved by the Secretary of State for the purpose of implanting microchips.

(2) For the purposes of this article and article 6—

“student veterinary nurse” and “veterinary nurse” have the same meanings as in Schedule 3 to the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966(3);

“student of veterinary surgery” has the same meaning as in regulation 3 of the Schedule to the Veterinary Surgeons (Practice by Students) Regulations Order of Council 1981(4);

“veterinary surgeon” means a person registered in the register of veterinary surgeons, or the supplementary veterinary register kept under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966.

Third-party insurance

8.—(1) The owner or person in charge of the dog must have in place a policy of insurance in respect of the dog that is to be exempted from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act throughout the dog’s lifetime.

(2) Subject to such terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions as may be contained in the policy and subject to paragraph (3), the policy must insure the person specified in it (“the policyholder”) in respect of the death of, or bodily injury to, any person caused by the dog.

(3) The policy need not insure in respect of the death of, or bodily injury to—

(a)a member of the policyholder’s family who resides permanently with the policyholder; or

(b)a person in respect of whom the policyholder is required to maintain a policy of insurance by virtue of the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969(5).

Issue of certificate of exemption

9.  The Agency must issue a certificate of exemption in respect of the dog if it is satisfied that—

(a)the court, in determining that the dog is not a danger to public safety, has decided the person to whom the certificate is to be issued is a fit and proper person to be in charge of the dog and has made the dog subject to a contingent destruction order;

(b)a fee of £77.00 plus Value Added Tax has been paid to the Agency; and

(c)the conditions referred to in articles 6 to 8 have been met.

Requirements attached to certificate of exemption

10.—(1) A certificate issued under article 9 must contain requirements—

(a)to keep the dog at the same address as the person to whom the certificate is issued save for any 30 days in a 12-month period;

(b)to notify the Agency of any proposed change of address (not to include any changes of address in the 30 days mentioned in paragraph (a));

(c)to notify the Agency of the death or export of the dog;

(d)to satisfy the Agency that a policy of third-party insurance compliant with article 8 is in force;

(e)to keep the dog muzzled and on a lead when in a public place;

(f)to keep the dog in sufficiently secure conditions to prevent its escape;

(g)to provide access to the dog for the purpose of reading a microchip on request by a person specified in section 5(1) of the Act;

(h)to produce to a person specified in section 5(1) of the Act confirmation that third-party insurance compliant with article 8 is in force within five days of being requested to do so by that person;

(i)to produce to a person specified in section 5(1) of the Act the certificate issued under article 9 within five days of being requested to do so by that person.

(2) The certificate may also contain such additional requirements, including the imposition of time limits, as the Agency may reasonably require for the purpose of ensuring that the requirements of this article are met.

Arrangements between interim and court-ordered exemption schemes

11.  When a dog has been released under the interim exemption scheme in Part 4 and is subsequently made subject to a contingent destruction order by the court under section 4A or 4B of the Act—

(a)the requirements set out in article 25 (additional requirements) continue to apply until a certificate of exemption is issued in accordance with article 9; and

(b)if the conditions in article 4(2) are not met within the time limits in article 4(3) the dog may be seized under section 5 of the Act with a view to its destruction in accordance with the contingent destruction order.

PART 3Substitution of Person in Charge of Dog Exempted under Part 2

Conditions for substitution of person in charge of exempted dog

12.  When a dog has been exempted from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act in accordance with Part 2 of this Order, a person (in this Part referred to as “the applicant”) may apply to a magistrates’ court to be substituted as the person in charge of the dog only if the person determined by the court under section 4(1B) or 4B(2A) of the Act or under this Part as being a fit and proper person is unable to continue to be in charge of the dog by reason of—

(a)the death of that person; or

(b)serious illness rendering that person unable to be in charge of the dog.

Procedure for application

13.—(1) The applicant must provide details in accordance with article 14 to the chief officer of police for the area in which the applicant lives at least two weeks before making an application to the court.

(2) An application must be made—

(a)to the magistrates’ court in the applicant’s local justice area;

(b)subject to any extension granted by the court under paragraph (5), no later than six weeks after the date—

(i)of the death of the person in charge in the case of an application pursuant to article 12(a) (death of person in charge), or

(ii)of the official letter from the medical practitioner confirming the serious illness of the person in charge (“official letter”) in the case of an application pursuant to article 12(b) (serious illness of person in charge);

(c)in writing and must include evidence—

(i)of either circumstance mentioned in article 12(a) or 12(b) by way of a death certificate or an official letter from a medical practitioner (as appropriate),

(ii)that the details have been provided to the chief officer of police in accordance with paragraph (1), and

(iii)that the application has been served on the chief officer of police in accordance with paragraph (3).

(3) The applicant must serve a copy of the application made to the court on the chief officer of police to whom the information set out in article 14 has been provided.

(4) A court officer must notify the applicant and the chief officer of police on whom the application is served of the date the application is listed to be dealt with.

(5) The court may extend the time limits set out in paragraph (2)(b) on application by the applicant if satisfied there is a good reason to do so.

(6) Any failure by the applicant to comply with paragraph (2)(b) results in the dog no longer being exempt from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act.

Details to be given to the police

14.  The applicant must provide to the chief officer of police for the area in which the applicant lives the following details—

(a)the name of the applicant;

(b)the address of the applicant;

(c)the date of birth of the applicant;

(d)details of the exempted dog; and

(e)details of the person to whom the certificate of exemption was issued in respect of the dog.

Court determination

15.—(1) The court may only grant the application for substitution of the applicant as the person in charge of an exempted dog if satisfied that the dog does not constitute a danger to public safety.

(2) In determining whether the dog constitutes a danger to public safety the court—

(a)must consider—

(i)the temperament of the dog including its past behaviour; and

(ii)whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to be in charge of the dog; and

(b)may consider any other relevant circumstances.

Effect of making an application

16.  Until the application is determined by the court—

(a)the dog may be kept at the applicant’s address with the applicant on and after the date—

(i)of the death of the person in charge in the case of an application pursuant to article 12(a); or

(ii)of the official letter from the medical practitioner in the case of an application pursuant to article 12(b); and

(b)where paragraph (a) applies, the requirements set out in article 10(1) save for article 10(1)(a) apply in relation to the applicant until a new certificate of exemption is issued to the applicant.

Successful application for substitution

17.  If the court is satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person to be substituted as the person in charge of the exempted dog the court must notify the Agency of—

(a)the name of the applicant;

(b)the address and contact details of the applicant;

(c)details of the person to whom the original certificate of exemption was issued; and

(d)details of the exempted dog to which the application applies.

Issue of certificate of exemption to the applicant

18.—(1) The Agency must issue a new certificate of exemption to the applicant in respect of the dog if it is satisfied that—

(a)the court has determined the person to be substituted as the person in charge of the dog as a fit and proper person to be in charge of the dog;

(b)a fee of £77.00 plus Value Added Tax has been paid to the Agency; and

(c)third-party insurance compliant with article 8 has been obtained by the applicant.

(2) Article 10 (requirements attached to certificate of exemption) applies in relation to a new certificate of exemption issued under this article.

Failure to comply with the requirements attached to the certificate of exemption

19.  A dog is not exempt from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act—

(a)if there is a failure to comply with the requirements attached to the certificate of exemption issued in accordance with article 18 at any time after the certificate is issued;

(b)if there is a failure to comply with the requirements in article 10(1) where article 16(b) applies.

PART 4Interim Exemption Scheme

Release of seized dog: general

20.—(1) This Part applies where a dog suspected of being a dog to which section 1 of the Act applies is seized under a power conferred by the Act or under any other enactment and prior to the court’s final determination in respect of the dog under section 4(1)(a) or 4B(1) of the Act.

(2) The chief officer of police for the area in which the dog was seized may release the dog to the person intending to apply for exemption of the dog under Part 2 of this Order (in this Part referred to as “the person in interim charge”) only in accordance with this Part.

(3) Nothing in this Part requires a chief officer of police to release a dog to which this Part applies.

Danger to public safety test

21.—(1) The chief officer of police for the area in which the dog was seized may only release the dog under this Part if satisfied that the dog does not constitute a danger to public safety.

(2) In determining whether the dog constitutes a danger to public safety the chief officer of police—

(a)must consider—

(i)the temperament of the dog including its past behaviour; and

(ii)whether the person in interim charge is a fit and proper person to be in interim charge of the dog; and

(b)may consider any other relevant circumstances.

Interim exemption scheme conditions and requirements

22.—(1) Where the chief officer of police for the area in which the dog was seized is satisfied that the dog is not a danger to public safety in accordance with article 21, the dog is exempt on an interim basis from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act provided that—

(a)the chief officer of police is satisfied that the following conditions have been met—

(i)the dog is neutered in accordance with article 6,

(ii)the dog is microchipped in accordance with article 7,

(iii)third-party insurance is obtained in accordance with article 8;

(b)the requirements in article 25 (additional requirements) are met throughout the period of interim exemption; and

(c)the person in interim charge confirms in writing that they understand the conditions mentioned in this article and the continuing requirements in article 25 and the consequences of any failure to comply with the conditions or requirements under this Part.

(2) If there is a failure to comply with the requirements in article 25 (additional requirements), or if the chief officer of police is no longer satisfied that article 21 (danger to public safety test) is met—

(a)the dog may be seized under section 5 of the Act; and

(b)the dog is not exempt under this Part from the prohibition in section 1(3) of the Act.

Timescales for release of seized dog

23.—(1) The seized dog may only be released when the conditions referred to in article 22(1)(a) and (c) have been met.

(2) In the case of a dog under the age of six months at the date that the chief officer of police for the area in which the dog was seized determines that the dog may be released under this Part, the conditions in article 22(1)(a) must be met within one month of the dog attaining six months.

Expenses

24.  The police may recover from the person in interim charge any expenses incurred in the event that the police arrange for the conditions in articles 6 (neutering) and 7 (microchipping) to be complied with.

Additional requirements

25.  Where a dog is released to the person in interim charge under this Part the person in interim charge must comply with the following additional requirements—

(a)to keep the dog at the same address as that person;

(b)to notify the police of any proposed change of address;

(c)to satisfy the police on request that a policy of third-party insurance compliant with article 8 is in force;

(d)to provide access to the dog for the purpose of reading a microchip on request by a person specified in section 5(1) of the Act;

(e)to keep the dog in sufficiently secure conditions to prevent its escape;

(f)to keep the dog muzzled and on a lead when in a public place; and

(g)any other requirement for the purpose of preventing the dog being a danger to public safety considered appropriate by the chief officer of police for the area in which the dog was seized.

Cessation of interim exemption

26.  Subject to article 11(a), an interim exemption granted under this Part ceases when—

(a)a court makes a final determination in respect of the dog under section 4(1)(a) or 4B(1) of the Act or determines that the dog is not one to which section 1 applies; or

(b)a decision is taken not to commence or continue with proceedings in respect of the dog.

PART 5Miscellaneous

Revocations

27.  The Orders specified in the Schedule to this Order are revoked.

Saving

28.  A certificate of exemption issued under the Dangerous Dogs Compensation and Exemption Schemes Order 1991(6) is deemed to have been issued under article 9 of this Order, and an owner or person in charge of a dog to which such a certificate relates must comply with the requirements set out in article 10(1) of this Order.

de Mauley

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

4th February 2015

Article 27

SCHEDULERevocations

(1)

Orders revoked

(2)

References

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (Commencement and Appointed Day) Order 1991S.I. 1991/1742
The Dangerous Dogs Compensation and Exemption Schemes Order 1991S.I. 1991/1744
The Dangerous Dogs Compensation and Exemptions Schemes (Amendment) Order 1991S.I. 1991/2297
The Dangerous Dogs Compensation and Exemption Schemes (Amendment) (No 2) Order 1991S.I. 1991/2636
The Dangerous Dogs (Fees) (England and Wales) Order 2013S.I. 2013/1302

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Order)

Section 1(3) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (“the Act”) provides that possession or custody of certain types of dogs specified in section 1 (dogs bred for fighting) or specified in an order made under it is prohibited. The court must order the destruction of such a prohibited dog on conviction of an offence under section 1 of the Act, where such a dog is seized and no person is to be prosecuted, or on conviction of an offence under section 3 (having a dog dangerously out of control). However if the court is satisfied that the prohibited dog is not a danger to public safety under section 4(1A) or 4B of the Act, rather than make an immediate destruction order, it must order the contingent destruction of the dog. A contingent destruction order enables the dog to be exempted from the prohibition in section 1(3).

Section 1(5) of the Act provides for the creation of schemes under which the dog may be exempted. This Order revokes and replaces the Dangerous Dogs Compensation and Exemption Schemes Order 1991 (“the 1991 Order”) in relation to England and Wales. It creates two schemes of exemption for the purposes of section 1(5) of the Act. This Order does not affect the operation of the 1991 Order in Scotland.

Part 2 of the Order applies when a court makes a contingent destruction order enabling the dog to be exempted. It sets out the conditions that are to be met for a dog to be exempted and the enduring requirements to be complied with if the dog is to remain exempt.

Part 3 provides that a person, other than the person determined by a court under section 4(1B) or 4B(2A) of the Act or under this Part, as being a fit and proper person to be in charge of a dog, may apply to be in charge of an exempted dog. This Part only applies when the person who has been in charge of the dog dies or is seriously ill. Articles 13 to 15 set out the procedure to be followed in relation to an application. Article 16 states the effect of making an application and article 17 sets out the requirements on the court on a successful application. Article 18 provides for the issue of a new certificate of exemption to a successful applicant. Article 19 states that where there is a failure to comply with the requirements attached to a certificate of exemption issued under article 18 the dog is not exempt.

Part 4 creates an interim exemption scheme when a dog suspected to be a prohibited type has been seized by the police. It permits a chief officer of police to exempt the dog on an interim basis if satisfied the dog is not a danger to public safety and to release the seized dog before a court makes a final determination. Article 21 sets out the test the chief officer of police must apply when determining whether the seized dog is a danger to public safety. Article 22 sets out the conditions and requirements that have to be met for a suspected prohibited dog to become and remain exempt on an interim basis. Article 23 sets out the timescales for the release of the dog under the interim exemption scheme. Article 24 provides for the recovery of expenses by the police from the person to whom the dog is released, if the police arrange for the microchipping or neutering of the dog. Article 25 sets out the further requirements that must be met by a person in interim charge of a dog. Article 26 provides the interim exemption ceases on final determination by the court or if a decision is taken not to commence or continue proceedings in respect of the dog.

Articles 27 and Article 28 contain revocations and a saving.

An impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument as no impact on the costs of the private or voluntary sectors is foreseen.

(1)

1991 c. 65; section 1(6A) was inserted by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (c.12), section 107.

(3)

1966 c.36. Paragraph 6 of Schedule 3 was inserted by S.I. 1991/1412, substituted by S.I. 2002/1479 and amended by S.I. 2008/1824, paragraph 18 of the Schedule. Paragraph 7 of Schedule 3 was inserted by S.I. 2002/1479.

(4)

S.I. 1981/988. Regulation 3 was substituted by the Schedule to S.I. 1995/2397.

(6)

S.I. 1991/1742. The effect of Part 3 of the Order was extended to contingent destruction orders made under section 4A(1) or 4B(3) of the Act by the Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act 1997 (c.53), section 4.

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