We recognise that keeping a pet can offer pleasure, friendship, security and support to many of our customers, but sometimes they can cause a problem in our communities.
Animal-related anti social behaviour is when a pet is allowed to make life very difficult for people living in that area. Some examples of this can include:
There are a number of laws in place that govern animals and anti social behaviour:
This Act bans the breeding and sale or exchange of four kinds of dog - Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosas, the Dogo Argentinos, and the Fila Brasileiros. Under the Act, The police have the power to seize a dog which they believe is one of these unlawful types and at Court the burden of proof is on the owner to prove that it is not unlawful or that there is good reason why the dog was not registered.
Section 3 of this Act applies to every single dog in England and Wales, no matter whether it is a pure bred dog, cross or a mongrel and regardless of its size. Any dog classed as being "dangerously out of control in a public place" can be destroyed. This is defined as being ‘on any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will injure any person’. The owner can be fined and imprisoned for up to six months.
This Act states that any person responsible for an animal has a legal duty to ensure that its needs are met as required by 'good practice'. These include:
Anyone who is cruel to an animal, or does not provide for its welfare needs, may be banned from owning animals, fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison.
There's also range of offences under this Act which apply to animal fighting. These include:
These were introduced by the Clean Neighbourhood Act 2005. Whilst the orders themselves do not deal specifically with dangerous dogs, they can be used to place greater restrictions on where dogs may or may not be taken, and also the level of control an individual must have over their dog.
For example, a council can make an Order to require all dogs to be on a lead or to be put on a lead on all public highways and footpaths. Anyone contravening a DCO faces a fixed penalty.
If you are concerned about noise or other nuisance caused by animals, your first step should be to talk to the person responsible for the animal and explain the problem. They may not be aware that their dog barks as soon as its owners leave their home, or that it’s not cleaned up after if it’s walked by a different family member.
If this approach does not succeed there are other things you can do:
Download our incident diary and keep an accurate record of the anti social behaviour.
The RSPCA is a useful partner in dealing with animal-related problems. It can advise on the animal's wellbeing and whether its accommodation is suitable. Your local authority may also have an Animal Welfare Officer.
Environmental Health Officers can issue fixed penalty notices (FPN) and noise abatement notices to stop a noise that is causing a statutory nuisance.
We work closely with the police and local authorities to help enforce these laws. Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams can look into dog-related nuisance and respond to complaints.
Dog owners who allow their pets to regularly engage in anti social behaviour should be aware that they face fixed penalty notices for certain dog control offences such as:
If pet owners continue to act irresponsibly and animal-related anti social behaviour continues, we have the powers to take action against those who allow their pets to breach their tenancy agreement by causing nuisance to neighbours.
Last updated: 03 August 2010