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Dogs: Northern Ireland

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many convictions for the ownership of a dangerous dog there were in Northern Ireland in each of the last six years; and what the (a) penalty imposed and (b) breed of dog was in each case. (120441)

Local councils provide statistical information to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) with respect to enforcement of the Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 (as amended), including the number of prosecutions taken for offences under the legislation. However, prior to 2006 these returns did not specifically distinguish prosecutions for ownership of banned dogs from other prosecutions taken under the legislation.

Since January 2006, figures provided to DARD by local councils show that there have been five successful prosecutions, details of which are set out in the following table. There are also a further 11 prosecutions pending, all of which are with respect to possession of pit bull type dogs. To date, DARD has received statistical information for the final quarter of 2006 from 25 of the 26 local councils.

Successful prosecutions for possession of prohibited dog types during 20061 (from information provided to DARD by local councils)

Type of dog

Order

Penalty (£)

Pit bull type dog

Destruction order

50 fine

Pit bull type dog

No destruction order as dog died

200 fine plus a 2 year disqualification order

Pit bull type dog

Destruction order

50 fine plus 169 costs

Pit bull type dog

Destruction order

200 fine plus 94 costs

Pit bull type dog

Destruction order

100 fine plus 181 costs plus costs for the destruction of the dog

1 To date DARD has received statistical information for the final quarter of 2006 from 25 of the 26 local councils.