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Language: English / Gàidhlig


Seòmar agus comataidhean

Question reference: S6W-25527

  • Date lodged: 13 February 2024
  • Current status: Answered by Siobhian Brown on 28 February 2024


To ask the Scottish Government whether the (a) Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and (b) Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 contains any mechanism that prevents owners from relinquishing ownership and/or responsibility for a dog that is subject to complaint, and, if this is not the case, what its position is on whether such a mechanism would be desirable.


Section 1 of The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (‘Dogs bred for fighting’) already prohibits owners of such dogs from giving away their pets.

This means that, for example, it is now illegal for the owner of an XL Bully to sell, give away or rehome their dog.

The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 (“the 2010 Act”) introduced the dog control notice (DCN) regime. The 2010 Act gives powers to local authorities to issue DCNs to owners who allow their dogs to be out of control and this includes discretionary conditions that can be attached to a DCN. The Scottish Government recommends as best practice that when local authority authorised officers issue a DCN to an owner, this should include a condition that the owner is obliged to inform the local authority if they rehome their dog, and provide the name and address of the new owner.

The Scottish Government published updated statutory guidance on the 2010 Act in December 2020. The statutory guidance is designed to enhance understanding of the 2010 Act and assist local authorities and authorised officers:

The Scottish Government has no current plans to amend the 2010 Act to prevent dog owners who have a DCN against them from relinquishing ownership and/or responsibility for their dog, but does plan to consider opportunities to enhance and strengthen the 2010 Act in the medium term.