400 dangerous dogs seized in Derbyshire

More than 400 dangerous dogs have been seized in Derbyshire since 2010.
More than 400 dangerous dogs have been seized in Derbyshire since 2010.

The number of dangerous dogs seized in Derbyshire is on the rise- with more than 400 captured in the last six years.

A Freedom of Information request by Derbyshire Times to Derbyshire Constabulary has revealed 411 dogs have been seized since 2010, with 176 in the last two years - compared to just 50 in 2010 and 2011.

Derbyshire police say the increase may be a result of ‘greater public awareness’ of action police can take.

Animal welfare charities are now calling for changes to be made to the Dangerous Dogs Act legislation.

A spokesman for Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, said: “Despite banning certain types of dogs, such as the pit bull terrier type, the law has not reduced the numbers found in the UK and diagnosis of a pit bull terrier type has been found to be subjective.”

Of the 411 dogs seized, 252 were destroyed and 126 were returned to owners. The figures also show the majority of dogs seized were cross breeds.

A Derbyshire police spokesman said: “It’s difficult to explain the gradual increase in the number of seizures of dangerous dogs but it may be that there is a greater public awareness of action police can take. Recent publicity about cases across the country has highlighted the issue. The increase in seizures is not linked to use of dogs by gang members.”

However, an RSPCA spokesman said: “Despite dog fighting being banned under the Animal Welfare Act, the RSPCA does still receive calls about organised dog fighting across the country - in 2015, we investigated 511 calls about it.”