Are pitbulls illegal in the UK? | The Sun

KEEPING a dog as a pet is something considered normal around the world.

But did you know that some breeds of the animal are illegal to own in the UK? Here, we look at pitbulls and the reasons behind why they are banned.

Are pitbulls illegal in the UK?

Owning a pitbull is banned in the UK.

Originating in England, the pitbull was bred as a fighting dog, taking part in sports such as bear baiting and dog fighting.

When were pitbulls banned in the UK?

It is illegal to breed, sell, abandon, or give away certain types of dog in the UK.

The 1980s saw an increasing number of reports of unprovoked attacks by pitbull on humans – between 1981 and 1991 there were 15 fatal dog attacks in England and Wales.


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In 1991, the UK government decided to take action, banning the breed along with three others.

The Dangerous dogs act 1991 is an Act of Parliament which focuses on prohibiting or restricting certain types of dogs and codifying the criminal offence of allowing a dog of any breed to be dangerously out of control. 

The three other breeds that were banned were the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasileiro.

The act has been criticised by groups such as the RSPCA, who suggested it was unfair to judge a dog based on their breed rather than their behaviour.

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Are pitbulls banned in any other countries?

The rules in different countries vary when it comes to owning this breed of dog.

Pitbulls are also banned in Denmark, Norway and Cyprus.

They are allowed with restrictions in countries including France, Spain and Germany.

Pitbull's are legal to own in several US states, but are banned in many states and cities in Canada.

Are pitbull crossbreeds illegal in the UK?

Crossbreeds may also be subject to the law, depending on their size and characteristics.

The law prohibits pitbull types, but it doesn't specifically ban dogs they may have been crossbred.

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