our dog Frida - could she enter UK?

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kalmir
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our dog Frida - could she enter UK?

Post by kalmir » Sun Jun 04, 2017 4:45 pm

Hi everyone. I am from the Czech Republic. I adopted a dog from a dog shelter together with my girlfriend. She is a mixed breed, we call her Frida and she looks like an Amstaff in her 3 months. She is great, we love her and she will stay with us.

Somedays ago a friend of mine told me Amstaffs are banned in UK. That got me worried. There might be a great job opportunity for us in UK next year, lasting for some years. I could not imagine we will not be able to bring her with us.

However, it is all a bit confusing to me. From googling out, I can tell Amstaffs are banned as a "pitbull type" dog. But Staff Bull Terriers are not and are actually very popular. Does not make much sense, if you ask me. Then I saw - staffierescue.co.uk. Do "staffies" in the title mean just SBT and not AmStaffs? Is the probhibition real thing? Is it common for police to check on dogs whether they are SBT or Amstaffs (which may not be apparent in mixed-breed ones)? Or is the ban just related to pitbulls "proper"?

I would be really glad for any hint on the topic from you locals.

Miroslav

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Wander Woman
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Re: our dog Frida - could she enter UK?

Post by Wander Woman » Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:47 pm

Hi!

The Dangerous Dogs Act bans four types of dogs from the UK: Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasileiro.

American Staffies are not banned, however you may want to consult with a legal expert or find out if you can get a special certificate from your vet to prove that your dog is not a Pit Bull Terrier. The law is complex and controversial. I'm sure others will comment here too.

This might help. You could also Google the UK Dangerous Dogs Act.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_Dogs_Act_1991

Best of luck bringing your friend to the UK!
"The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' but rather, 'Can they suffer?'" - Jeremy Bentham

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Hoonercat
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Re: our dog Frida - could she enter UK?

Post by Hoonercat » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:13 pm

It's not about breed where PB's are concerned (even though it is called Breed Specific Legislation) as the pitbull isn't recognized in the UK as a breed but a 'type' of dog. It all comes down to the dogs physical attributes, Am Staffs are generally taller than Staffordshire Bull Terriers and closer to the look of a dog that could be deemed as type, and the name AmStaff is generally associated with Pit Bull type dogs just under a different breed name (same an an Irish Staff). The other problem you have is that although they are recognized in France they are again considered to be Pit Bulls and are banned (in case you are travelling through France). I think it highly unlikely that your dog would be allowed past pet control at Calais if the breed description on her pet passport is AmStaff, and she could be seized in France as a banned breed. If your vet describes her (on pet passport) as a mix of specific breeds then she may be allowed to travel depending on the competency of the person at the pet travel booking-in centre in France but you would be taking a huge risk.
In short, if she looks like an AmStaff to you then she will likely also look like what is considered to be Pit Bull type in the UK. Sorry.

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Wander Woman
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Re: our dog Frida - could she enter UK?

Post by Wander Woman » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:16 am

I seem to remember reading that France had a sort of transport clause in their law. For example, that you could take a banned 'breed' into France as long as you could prove that your dog is neutered and that you're 'just passing through' (there is a time limit on travel) with no intention of bringing the dog to France to live. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I read this, but If I have a spark of inspiration and remember the source, I will post a link here.

If you suspect your dog could be labelled 'of type' (a Pit Bull), it would be useful for you to consult a legal expert before you risk bringing your dog to the UK, because there is a risk that it may be seized. Your dog does not have to do anything 'wrong' to be seized. It just has to look like a Pit Bull. This may not seem fair, but it is the present law.

Here are a couple organisations that specialise in dog law, that you could contact:
DDA Watch - http://www.ddawatch.co.uk/ - They're also on facebook.
Wheldon Law - http://wheldonlaw.co.uk/ - They're also on facebook.

Please don't risk your dog's life by bringing it to the UK without completely understanding what you and your dog can and cannot do. The legal experts may advise you to leave your dog behind because the risk is too great. But they may also have a strategy you could use, as Hoonercat mentioned above. It would have to be a reliable strategy, of course, and not just a gamble that no one would recognise your dog as 'of type'.
"The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' but rather, 'Can they suffer?'" - Jeremy Bentham

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Hoonercat
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Re: our dog Frida - could she enter UK?

Post by Hoonercat » Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:04 am

From a DEFRA leaflet:
Some owners may deliberately misrepresent the breed of their dog using terms such as American Staffordshire Terriers (Am Staffs or ASTs)
The last thing you would want to do is to present your dog as an AmStaff. DDA Watch have been asked this question in the past and their advice was not to bring the dog into the UK.

In America an AmStaff can be dual-registered (both Pit Bull and AmStaff) so they are considered PB in the UK. There are small differences in appearance but probably not enough to stop her being deemed type. On the other hand you have said that she is a mix rather than full AmStaff so she could have important physical attributes that a breed expert could convince a court that she is more a specific breed than a PB type dog (eg height, tail, muzzle length, eye shape, coat type, teeth layout).
The other problem is that these tests are very subjective - whether your dog is deemed type can come down to which officer carries out the assessment (ridiculous as that is). That's not merely an opinion, I have been told this by the Met Status Dog Unit.
A suggestion: post up some pictures of Frida, from as many angle as possible. While it is not possible to assess a dog from photos, the visualization of breed type varies from country to country. For example I've seen quite a few Labs in Belgium and they differ quite noticeably to what we think of as a Lab in the UK as they tend to be noticeably taller and bulkier.
If your dog is seized in the UK and deemed to be type she would have to pass a temperament test with the police. As long as she has a good temperament she can be registered on the exempt list, and you will have to meet certain condition (insurance, muzzled in public etc). The court will also want to be assured that you are responsible owners and that you have a permanent place of (secure) residence, if you are renting having a banned breed might be a problem with the landlord (finding a landlord who accepts pets can be difficult enough).
Something to really consider is whether the job in the UK is really worth taking the risk with your dog (or rehoming before you travel). The big wages in the UK are offset by the ridiculous cost of living (property prices and renting in particular) and many people come to the UK lured by the wages but soon realise that they were better off in the their home country on a lower wage. As an example, a Bulgarian couple in their 30's asked recently on a FB page if people thought it was worth while packing up and heading to the UK for a better life and better pay. In Bulgaria they earn about 1,000 euro per month and live comfortably, the low cost of living in Bulgaria meant that they owned an apartment in the capital city and a country house (both mortgage free). People in the UK, even on high wages, can only dream of being mortgage-free at that age. You will also pay about 30% of your earnings in tax and National Insurance (more if you are a high-earner), as well as high monthly outgoings such as council tax. Then there's Brexit...

kalmir
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Re: our dog Frida - could she enter UK?

Post by kalmir » Tue Jun 06, 2017 3:28 pm

Thanks everyone. I will post some pictures of Frida when she grows up little bit and her type or at least looks will be more apparent. Of course we want to gather whatever information we can before making the decision if to bring her with us or not. That is why I am writing to this forum while she is actually still a puppy and a job-prospect in UK fairly distant :-)

Vikki
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Re: our dog Frida - could she enter UK?

Post by Vikki » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:06 pm

The BSL legislation here is frustratingly very real. In my work I know many families who have dogs that could be considered "of type", I have known dogs to be siezed for no other reason and also known some police forces to be really sensible and only act when the behaviour of the dog causes concern rather than looks.
Many dog lovers here are campaigning for an end to BSL and for it to be replaced with tighter laws on breeding and keeping companion animals and much stricter penalties for animal abusers.
The difficulty with dogs being assessed as type, as has already been mentioned is there is a checklist of characteristics to look for (I think from DEFRA) but the people who assess initially have no more training in this than you or I. And there isn't even a guide to say a dog has to have say 80% of the characteristics to be type, in someone's opinion they could be type if they just meet a handful. A litter of mix breed pups could have half that grow to be type and half that don't. A boxer lab cross can have lots of type characteristics.
I would not risk bringing a dog here that is in a country where she is safe from this prejudice unless you can find an expert here who would be willing to do an assessment beforehand if that is even possible.
I don't love just staffies but all dogs but bully breeds especially and to end on a positive for those out there who also disagree with BSL check out The Champions on netflix. Warning awful back story which I am sure you are all familiar with but the film isn't about that it's about rescue, rehoming and love xx
If it wasn't for my dogs, my house would be clean, my purse would be full but my heart would be empty

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Hoonercat
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Re: our dog Frida - could she enter UK?

Post by Hoonercat » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:22 pm

kalmir wrote:Thanks everyone. I will post some pictures of Frida when she grows up little bit and her type or at least looks will be more apparent. Of course we want to gather whatever information we can before making the decision if to bring her with us or not. That is why I am writing to this forum while she is actually still a puppy and a job-prospect in UK fairly distant :-)
If she's still a puppy and a xbreed then I wouldn't even think about worrying yet, last year I saw a litter that I thought would definitely grow to be typed, saw a pic of one last week now fully grown and looking every bit the Mastiff (parents were Mastiff and Staffie, one of the most common xbreeds to be typed).

Vikki
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Re: our dog Frida - could she enter UK?

Post by Vikki » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:59 pm

By complete coincidence I met someone today who brought an Amstaff to live in UK from abroad.
Contact the Met police and ask for a guy called Patrick O'Hara. My understanding is he will meet you as you enter country and take Frida for assessment for a few days. If not of type no further involvement from authorities, if she is type then she can come home with you under interim exemption until full exemption granted. There would be certain conditions if she was found to be type, but the person I met now has legal dog, exempt under DDA and said was not difficult at all so as she grows, if job opportunities are still there it is totally possible and not difficult to bring her here.
Good luck.
If it wasn't for my dogs, my house would be clean, my purse would be full but my heart would be empty

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Wander Woman
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Re: our dog Frida - could she enter UK?

Post by Wander Woman » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:06 pm

:thanks.gif: Wow! That's really great info! Thank you for sharing it here! :thanks.gif:
"The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' but rather, 'Can they suffer?'" - Jeremy Bentham

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