The Dangerous Dog Act 1991 (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) makes it an offence for anyone in charge of any type of dog to allow it to be dangerously out of control in a public place, or in a private place where it has no right to be. A person found guilty of an offence may face imprisonment of up to 2 years and/or an unlimited fine. The courts may also disqualify the offender from having custody of a dog for any period as it thinks fit. Any complaint of this nature must be reported to the police who will investigate the matter under the Act.
The Act also makes it illegal to own, breed from, sell, give away, or have in public without a lead or muzzle certain breeds of dog unless they have an exemption. This can also result in a fine of up to £5,000.