Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 16th 2014 Contents B10
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt November 16, 2014
Four pieces of legislation currently pertain
to dogs and dog ownership in T&T: Dogs
Act, 1918; Dog Control Act, 2013; The Dog
Control (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and Dog
Control Act No 3 of 2014.
This article completes the summary of the
law currently enforceable for dog owners
(regardless of breed of dog) to assist you to
comply with the law, but it must be stressed
that the following requirements have not yet
been proclaimed and are therefore not enforce-
a) Registration of Class A dogs
b) Licences for Class A dogs
c) Premises inspection for the keeping of Class
d) Mandatory policy of insurance for Class A
e) Mandatory certificate of good character
issued by the Commissioner of Police for
the keeping of Class A dogs
f) Mandatory microchipping of Class A dogs
g) Mandatory training of Class A dogs by a
government-certified dog trainer
h) Kennel regulations for owners of five or
more Class A dogs
The following sections are now enforce-
All dogs in T&T now fall into one of two
classes. The breeds listed as Class A dogs are
the "pure" breed or any dog bred "therefrom"
ie mixed with: American pit bull terrier, Amer-
ican Staffordshire terrier, American Bully, Dogo
Argentino, Fila Brasileiro and Japanese Tosa.
ALL other breeds of dogs are categorised as
Class B dogs.
If a Class A dog injures, kills, or causes the
death of a person without reasonable cause
in a public place or on private premises, the
owner/keeper of the dog commits an offence.
The Class A dog that injures or kills a person
or animal or causes the death of a person or
animal while on or outside private premises
may be seized and destroyed.
A person, who, without reasonable cause,
incites a dog (Class A or B) to attack another
person causing grievous bodily harm or result-
ing in death, commits an offence. The person
charged as above can defend himself by proving
that he incited the dog to attack because the
other person (who was attacked) was com-
mitting a crime against him (the person
charged), his family, or anyone under his care;
or had reasonable cause to fear an attack on
himself, his family, or any one under his care.
Any person convicted of an offence under
the Dog Control Act, 2013, may be disqualified
from owning or keeping a Class A dog for
such period as the court thinks fit; and may
have his dog seized, sold or given to a person
able to care for the dog or to an establishment
for the reception of stray dogs, or destroyed.
Any person who has been disqualified from
owning/keeping a Class A dog and who con-
travenes with this commits an offence.
Veterinary surgeons are exempted from
holding a licence for Class A dogs provided
that the dog is being kept in a professional
capacity for the purposes of administering
medical treatment or in compliance with the
Dog Control Act, 2013.
Veterinary surgeons boarding Class A dogs
on their premises are required to secure those
premises in the prescribed manner so as to
prevent the escape of the dog. A veterinary
surgeon who fails to comply with this commits
Owners of establishments for the reception
of stray dogs are exempted from holding a
licence for Class A dogs but they are required
to secure those premises in the prescribed
manner so as to prevent the escape of the
Where the owner/keeper of a Class A dog
has not fulfilled a requirement under this act,
the local authority shall issue a notice directing
the owner/keeper to meet the requirements
within seven days and the dog will be
impounded until such time.
Failure to act within three days of receiving
the notice will result in the destruction of the
It should be noted that failure to comply
with the law can result in fines ranging from
TT$10,000 to $200,000 and most penalties
include a mandatory jail sentence in addition
to the fine.
DOG CONTROL LEGISLATION---PART THREE
Owners held culpable if
their dog commits an offence
Copyright © Kristel-Marie Ramnath 2014. For
further information contact 689-8113 or best-
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