this page is for legal information other such matters ~ ongoing construction! Please note these matters relate to the UK

Legal Notes

Livestock – It is an offence for a dog to worry livestock in a field under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953. A farmer is entitled to shoot a dog that he sees loose in his field if he feels the dog is a threat to his livestock

Road Incidents Involving Dogs – A driver that hits a dog or is involved in an accident involving a dog must report it to police as soon as possible and definitely within 24 hours under the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 makes it an offence for a dog not to wear a collar bearing the name and address of the owner. Failure to observe this law could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to £2,000

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 it is an offence to cause a statutory nuisance to another resident. Most dogs bark at sometime or other but if this barking is noisy and regular enough it can be a statutory nuisance. Following a complaint, a dog warden and/or member of the Environmental Health team would investigate and make a decision on whether this case would qualify.


The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 makes it an offence to own a dog that is a danger to the public. The police decide when to take action in such cases in East Hampshire but it usually follows a serious dog biting incident.



It is also an offence under this Act for a dog to be “dangerously out of control” in a public place. The owner of the dog may be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000. The magistrates may also order that the dog is destroyed or controlled in some way, e.g. muzzled and on a lead at all times in the public.


The Act also makes it illegal to own, breed from, sell, give away, or have in public without a lead or muzzle, an unregistered Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo argentine, Filo braziliera or Japanese Tosa. This also bears a fine of up to £5,000. The Dogs Act 1871 can also be used to place a Control Order on a dog, i.e. requiring that it should be muzzled or kept on a lead etc

The Dogs (Fouling on Land) Act 1996 makes it an offence for a dog walker not to remove their dog’s faeces from land to which the public have access. With very few exceptions, this applies to all public land and open space.



The dog wardens regularly patrol the district and will issue anyone seen contravening the act with a fixed penalty fine of £50, as will other officers authorised to do so by the council.


Regular offenders or those failing to pay a fixed penalty fine may be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.

Dog Wardens

The Police are no longer responsible for lost dogs.


Lost dogs are now handed to the local Dog Warden.

On any one day in the UK there are around half a million stray dogs. These can cause problems such as road accidents; attacks on people; attacks on other dogs, cats or pets; fouling in public areas or private gardens; damaging property and knocking over bins.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty on councils to collect stray dogs. A stray dog is classified as any dog that is unsupervised in a public place.

There are several things you can do to prevent the problem of lost or stray dogs:


Ensure that your dog has a collar with an up-to-date tag at all times
Make sure that your garden is escape-proof before you leave your dog alone there
Do not allow your dog to run loose on its own. This is irresponsible and unfair on other residents
Report dogs that regularly stray to the dog wardens