Number of dogs destroyed by Derbyshire Police rises 53 per cent in five years
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A Freedom of Information (FOI) request returned by the Derbyshire force showed Staffordshire bull terriers were the dog breed with the highest numbers to have been put down by Derbyshire Constabulary between 2018 and 2022. Twenty-six were destroyed during the four-year period.
The FOI – by LegalExpert.co.uk – also showed since 2021, American bully XLs have become the second-most destroyed dog breed behind Staffordshire bull terriers – with eight euthanised.
Further data obtained from Derbyshire Constabulary revealed that the number of dogs seized by the force has dramatically increased by 47 per cent. The most commonly seized dog breeds were Staffordshire bull terriers, Akita huskies, pit bull types and American bully XLs.
Last year alone, 97 per cent of dogs that were destroyed by the force were a result of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 - which relates to when dogs are dangerously out of control.
Reasons dogs were seized by the force included dogs being dangerously out of control and seizures made under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Commenting on the new data, a spokesperson for Derbyshire Constabulary said there had been an increase in the number of stray dogs in Derbyshire in “recent years”.
While officers were seeing more dogs purchased during the covid pandemic which may not have been socialised in the normal manner.
The spokesperson added: “While it is difficult therefore to give a specific reason for the increase in the number of dogs seized, we work alongside partner agencies such as local authorities and the RSPCA to deal with any incidents involving dogs in order to ensure the best possible outcome for all parties.
"We understand that dogs are part of the family and that incidents where dogs are dangerously out of control or may have bitten someone can be very emotive and difficult situations and we will always work with owners in these cases however our paramount concern is the safety of the public and that is what we have to prioritise.”
Dogs may be seized for a number of reasons including if they are a banned breed or under the Animal Welfare Act.