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Exempted Dogs - travelling in a vehicle:

In answer to a question often asked by exempted dog owners, regarding whether an exempted dog must be held on lead and muzzled when in a car or vehicle. We contacted the Index of Exempted Dogs regarding this issue, for clarification, and this is the reply received as below, which was emailed to DDA Watch from the Index of Exempted Dogs:

Good afternoon,

Thank you for your email concerning the requirement of exempted dogs to be muzzled and leashed when travelling in a car/vehicle. The registered exempted dog must be muzzled and on a lead and held by someone who is over 16 years of age.

Section 1 (2) (b) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 states that “No person shall allow such a dog of which he is the owner or of which he is for the time being in charge to be in a public place without being muzzled and kept on a lead;”

Section 7 (1) (b) of the Dangerous Dogs Act says that “In this Act references to its being kept on a lead are to its being securely held on a lead by a person who is not less than sixteen years old”.

As far as written confirmation that the registered exempted dog - the application form for the certificate contains a declaration which has to be signed by the owner/keeper that refers to the requirement that the owner has to be aware that says: “I must not allow the dog to be in a public place (including inside a car) unless it is muzzled, on a lead and controlled by a person aged 16 or older.”

Also on the rear of the Certificate of Exemption there is a reminder of the requirement that the owner “shall not allow your dog to be in any street, road or place to which the public have access without it being muzzled, kept on a lead and in the control of a person 16 years or older. The dog must be securely fitted with a muzzle sufficient to prevent it biting.”

Please call back if we can provide you with further information and clarification.

Dogs Index
PO Box 68250
London SW1P 9XG
Telephone: 020 7238 1506
Fax: 020 7238 1100

This is also clarified by the following FOI question and answer from DEFRA which can be found online here and states:

Q4. A dog which is registered on the index of exempted dogs must be kept on a lead and muzzled while in a vehicle; does the dog's lead have to be physically held by a person or can the lead be fixed to an anchor point in the car?

A4. Section 7(1) (b) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 says “references to its being kept on a lead are to its being securely held on a lead by a person who is not less than sixteen years old.” Therefore the lead must be held by a person, aged 16 years or older whilst the dog is in a vehicle.

DDA Watch Note: This rule stems from a High Court ruling which states that although the inside of the car is not of itself a public place, once the car is in a public place what was inside it was in a public place for the purposes of the Dangerous Dogs Act - Bates v DPP; QBD (Div Ct)(Rose LJ, Waller J); 25 Feb 1993.


If you have any questions - please contact DDA Watch for advice.




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