Bad dogs or bad law? Guidance for vets on dangerous dogs

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What should vets do when a pit bull terrier walks into the waiting room?

This question, and many others, were addressed this week when the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and The Webinar Vet joined forces to deliver an informative and thought-provoking webinar on dangerous dogs to over 350 live attendees.

The webinar, available to view at, was presented by BVA President Robin Hargreaves under the banner “Bad dogs or bad law? Problems with the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991”.

In the webinar small animal practitioner Robin outlined the legislation as it stands across the UK and explained what action the BVA and others have taken in campaigning to move away from breed-specific legislation towards a more preventive approach.

Robin also explained what the current legislation means for vets in practice by drawing on the new BVA guidance on dangerous dogs, which is now available for members to download at

The guidance covers what vets should know when presented with a dog suspected of being of a banned type, what advice they should give to clients, and where to find further information to help encourage responsible ownership and promote safe interaction between people and dogs.

The webinar is part of a series of free webinars on policy issues presented by the BVA and hosted by The Webinar Vet. Upcoming webinars in the series include ‘Controlling Bovine TB – a political disease’ at 7.30pm on Monday 25 March and ‘We are what we eat: should vets promote higher welfare food to consumers?’ at 7.30pm on Monday 3 June.

Further Information

The BVA’s Guidance on dangerous dogs is for BVA members only. Members of the media wanting to obtain a copy for review purposes should contact the BVA Media Office.

The BVA works in partnership with The Webinar Vet to present webinars on contentious issues, the latest of which is this dangerous dogs webinar, and to provide discounted access to the whole Webinar Vet programme. is the BVA’s online CPD channel and provides members with convenient access to education videos that highlight important issues, procedures and topics.