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  #41  
Old 24.04.2007, 11:34
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

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All dogs, regardless of category will be required to be on lead in public.
You what?
They are never going to pass a law like this are they?


I'd rather they put an test in place to check the owners suitablility and have a vet decide on dangerousness of dog, rather than outright ban a certain breed.
Mind you they talked about that in the UK for a while, and then figured out it would cost them a fortune to implement it.

Agree with GillyD, the dog legislation laws in the UK have achieved very little, its the owners that need the legislation not the dog.

Last edited by PlantHead; 24.04.2007 at 11:37. Reason: to respond to above post
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Old 24.04.2007, 14:38
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

baboon - statistically, you're as likely to be bitten by a labrador than a "pit bull". Also it's typically the owner or someone close to the dog who gets bitten.

The rest of your Daily Mail "Devil Dog" suggestion are very mixed. It's the owner - but ban the breed! Responsible owners will learn - but the example of the little girl killed by the dog of her uncle in Liverpool? The dog was an illegal example was it not? I bet that learned him
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Old 24.04.2007, 14:49
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Baboon, the issue of gravest concern is that this legislation punishes ALL dogs and owners, not just the irresponsible ones. It is pre-emptive - meaning that innocent dogs - friendly dogs, loyal dogs, dogs who have never ever put a foot wrong - are going to be killed.

As an analogy - take another read through the 'racism' thread - see how people have been stigmatized for nothing other than their country of origin. Now, I think we'd all agree that simply being an Auslander does not make you an automatic threat to the public order, despite the prejudicial attitudes that often abound here.

If, after a night at the pub one drunken Londoner got into a fight and killed someone, and the tabloids started a campaign calling for the expulsion of all British citizens working here, which morphed into a generally belief that EU citizens are responsible for most of the crime in Switzerland, and the Swiss politician responded by refusing entry to any EU passport holder, and ordered all those already here were to be tossed in jail or perhaps executed... well that's pretty much what is going on now.

The Oberglatt tragedy was a terrible, terrible thing, and should never have happened. But this law would not have prevented it..

As LR pointed out, the breeds being banned are NOT statistically responsible for more bites than any other. Secondly, how does killing well behaved, innocent dogs address the problem of those who do not follow the law? Only the innocent are hurt.

I am even concerned about the idea of a vet assigning categories. First, very few vets are behaviorists, or have had any animal behavioral training. I've met a fair few who are clueless about behavior issues, don't understand canine communication or calming signals, and handle dogs very, very badly. I know of one vet who is tops at the medical side of things - but who readily admits to being afraid of dogs. Could he fairly judge a dog? Remember, the vet practice is a terrifying place for most animals - bad things, painful things happen there. A vet rarely sees a dog at his best.

And, the idea that the vet will assign a category at the time of chipping is simply a code word for BSL - a dog is chipped as an 8 week old puppy - what will the vet go on other than breed?

And think about how this will change the relationship of the owner and the vet . The vet is supposed to heal your dog - how can you trust a vet if this comes about, knowing that he will have the obligation to order your dog killed?

I'm all for obligatory Hundeschule attendance. I would expect many problems could be solved if every dog owner regularly attended some sort of classes - in addition to promoting responsible ownership it is a good way to socialize your dog. I'm all for requiring dog owners to carry additional liability insurance. I don't even have a problem with leash laws per se, but I'd like to see the creation of some kind of dog park (similar to what we have in the Chicago area), where an animal would have a chance to get proper exercise and socialization away from the non-dog loving public. Most Swiss gardens are too small to allow proper exercise.

And, I'd really like to see a revision of some of the ridiculous building laws - most cantons stipulate that fences may only be 1.2 meters tall. Please, let me build a 2 meter fence!

I worry that the Wesenstest is, as Gilly pointed out, unfair and down right abusive. Do you honestly expect a dog to placidly sit in a down while a person rushes at him, screaming and brandishing a stick or burning lighter? Wouldn't you feel just a tad threatened if a stranger did that to you?

The SKG's HHB is a better option, but I still think even that is unfair for special needs dogs. For instance, my oldie is handicapped and can no longer do a simple sit. His muscles no longer bend that way. He can plop down on the floor, or stand still for a wait command, which would accomplish the same thing as the various sit exercises... but as the test is presently constructed he would fail because of his handicap. The problem with this kind of testing is that individual needs are not taken into account. One size simple can't fit all.

Another analogy, please see the driving thread... we all know the Swiss driver education is a rigorous process and the license test is very difficult... and look at the comments about Swiss driving. Seems perhaps the wrong things are being taught or tested... or perhaps standardized testing is a bad indicator of actual ability.

A better 'test' if you will, would be a discussion between the owner, and a panel of folks with both medical and behavioral expertise. Determine if the owner understands the individual dog's character, abilities, strengths and weakness, and determine if the owner has a good understanding of how his or her dog should interact with the general public - what situations the dog can, or should not, be place in.

And, we need to promote education among the non-dog owning public as well. How many times have you seen a small child run up to a dog, wanting to pet it, and the parent, if around at all, does nothing to intervene? Few children of my acquaintance understand the difference between petting and hitting - so I prefer to keep children away from my dogs. Or, when careening full speed down a hiking trail, do most mountain bikers give sufficient warning to dog walkers ahead so that they have time to step off the path? Not in my experience - I can rarely hear or see them coming. We both have the right to enjoy the countryside, and are both responsible for taking proper safety precautions.

I understand that some people don't like dogs, I understand that some people are afraid of them. I don't share those feelings, but I do not deny your right to have them. But please, by the same token, try to understand how I feel about my dogs - they mean everything in the world to me. I am a responsible owner of well trained dogs. And this legislation effectively places these gentle, loving, innocent creatures under a death sentence. And does not do a blessed thing to address perceived problems.

Bottom line, we all need to respect each other, and each give a little.

This new law is NOT the way to go about that.

Last edited by meloncollie; 24.04.2007 at 15:06.
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  #44  
Old 24.04.2007, 14:59
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

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I worry that the Wesenstest is, as Gilly pointed out, unfair and down right abusive. Do you honestly expect a dog to placidly sit in a down while a person rushes at him, screaming and brandishing a stick or burning lighter? Wouldn't you feel just a tad threatened if a stranger did that to you?
to be honest if they were very provocative in this manner, I'd worry more about the owner than the dog itself

I think any schooling should be two-phased:
  1. Observe
  2. Teach where necessary
My dogs won't do anything wrong for fear of what I'll do to them. Most observers will see that immediately.


btw I agree with banning all Londoners. When does that start?
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  #45  
Old 25.04.2007, 13:40
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

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I think any schooling should be two-phased:
  1. Observe
  2. Teach where necessary
LR, good points re: obligatory training classes.

There are good courses available, but there are also a few truly awful courses out there - and it is very much a case of caveat emptor.

Before any course is mandated, there should be some oversight of those calling themselves trainers. I believe right now anyone can set up 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Hundschule'. But then again, given the nonsense being sprouted by our so called 'expert' politicians , I'm not too sure I'd want most of them involved in any further regulation.

When searching for a Hundschule for my youngster I visited about half a dozen trainers in the area... I was lucky to find someone I respect, whose ideas mesh with mine, and whose fees are very reasonable. But there are trainers out there using what I would consider inappropriately militaristic methods - and charging thousands for the privilege. Bad training creates as many problems as no training. A good owner knows the best approach to take with his/her own dog.

I like your suggestion better than mandated courses.

---

More news:

A statement by Nationalrat Theophil Pfister arguing against proposed legislation has been published in Hunde Online on the 24th. See:

http://www.hunde-online.ch

Click under 'Politik', then 'Die Pittbulls haben die Kommission gebissen', Bericht

Finally, a little common sense! From the article:

"Es ist total unfair, von den Hundehaltern
einschneidende Massnahmen zu fordern, ohne dass
entsprechend mehr echte Sicherheit im Gegensatz zu
der gebotenen Scheinsicherheit geboten werden kann.
Somit dürfte dieser Gesetzesentwurf in der vorliegenden
Form wohl am ehesten als klassisches Beispiel für
verfehlten gesetzlichen Aktionitis dienen. "

---

I urge all dog owners and sympathizers to sign the Hunde Online petition. There is so much at stake here - we need to be heard.
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Old 25.04.2007, 14:10
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Petition PDF here: http://www.hunde-online.ch/pdf_2006/UB.pdf
You sign it and send it snail-mail to them.

meloncollie - can you translate where possible summarising what the articles you're posting mean for those not comfortable in German please?
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  #47  
Old 11.05.2007, 16:12
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

A few updates from ZH, VS and GE:

Kanton ZH has made public a new dog control law:

Tages-Anzeiger Online | Zürich | Hundehalter in der Pflicht

108 Hundegesetz - Staatskanzlei - Internet Kanton Zürich

http://www.sk.zh.ch/internet/sk/de/m...4.Document.pdf

Briefly summarized,

In Kanton ZH, dog owners, regardless of breed or size, will be required to hold liability insurance coverage of at least 1 million. License fees will rise, most likely from CHF 150 to CHF 200.

Dogs will be categorized by weight and size, and restrictions or conditions for ownership applied:

List 1, Large and potentially dangerous dogs :

(From the TA article) Large dogs such as Rottweilers, Dobermann, German Shepherds, Sennenhunde, large sighthounds (Greyhounds), St. Bernards and Labradors. 30,000 dogs, about half the dogs in the canton, will be included in this list. Owners will be required to complete a recognized training course to receive a permit to keep their dogs.

* Note that they have not specified exactly what the size/weight cut off will be. The Regierungsrat will make that decision.

List 2, the so-called 'Kampfhunde':

American Pitbull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Bull Terrier. Owners must take training classes and pass a test, the dogs will also be tested. (Wesenstest?) A permit conditional on passing the tests will be required for ownership. Other breeds may be added to this list in the future. Lead and muzzling restrictions will continue to be enforced.

The new law is expected to take force by May 2008 at the latest.

----

The Swiss Federal Court has upheld Valais' ban on 12 dog breeds, paving the way for other cantons to adopt similar measures:

Court confirms ban on dangerous dogs*(eng, NZZ Online)

(In English )

Valais authorities have banned pitbulls, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, bull terriers, dobermanns, Argentine mastiffs, Brazilian mastiffs, rottweilers, mastiffs, Spanish mastiffs, Neapolitan mastiffs and tosas.

Crosses of any of these breeds are forbidden as well.

Here is what has happened in Valais since the legislation went into effect:

Information pour les médias

373 dogs of the listed breeds and their crosses were registered in the Canton - Owners are required to submit their dogs to be Wesenstested by a date set by the cantonal authorities; dogs whose owners who do not comply by that date will be euthanized.

From 1 Jan 2006 through 30 Sept 2006 Valais tested 225 dogs from the 12 listed breeds.

27 dogs did not pass the tests and were euthanized.

163 passed the test and their owners were granted a permit to keep the dog, with the restriction that the dog must sterilized and that outside of the owner's private property the dog must be kept on lead and muzzled.

54 of the dogs did not pass, but were deemed correctable - the owner and dog were required to attend 20 training classes with an SKG club in the next 12 months, and would be tested again at that time. A decision as to whether these owners would receive a permit, or the dogs euthanized, will be made then.

8 dogs were deemed by the testing veterinarian to be dangerous - the dog and owner combination was deemed to pose a risk to the public. These dogs and owners were required to attend individual training course or be further tested before a definitive decision could be made. 2 of these dogs were euthanized at the decision of the owners.

What this list doesn't include are the puppies born after 1 January. The law forbids the breeding, import, sale or ownership of any of the 12 breeds; puppies born as of December 05 received a special permit and will be tested at the proper age. Any puppies younger than 5 months old as of 1 June 2006 were PTS, as will be any puppies of those breeds born in the future; how many of those, if any, is not known.


---- And, a little bit of sort of good news*:

Tribune de Genève - Résultat de votre recherche - Tribunal fédéral - Genève: les chiens dangereux continueront à porter la muselière

Geneva has relaxed the requirement that all dogs of all sizes and breeds be muzzled in parks; courts have ruled the regulation arbitrary. Dogs must still be on lead in parks and near school grounds. The listed breeds (Amstaff, Boerbull, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasilerio, Mastiff, Spanish Mastiff, Neopolitan, Presa Canero, Rottweiler, Tosa Inu, Pitbull, and their crosses) must still be muzzled and on lead at all times in public.

* Good-ish news in that it recognizes that blanket restrictions do nothing at all to promote safety - still bad news in that it re-inforces BSL.

"Punish the deed, not the breed." (Or the size, for that matter.)

----

Last edited by meloncollie; 11.05.2007 at 16:38.
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  #48  
Old 11.05.2007, 17:28
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

As an Amstaff owner (x2), I have to say some of the comments finally are reassuring - recognising OWNERS as significant parts of the whole equation.

But still - the no BSL (breed-specific legislation) but bans on "types" is wrong (in my opinion).

For now, my dogs need only to be leashed where I live. Good - they're no threat and muzzles make dogs look more fierce!
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  #49  
Old 11.05.2007, 17:31
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

I can't believe that Labradors end up on the "List One" in Zurich. Only the most popular breed in America and widely known as one of the friendliest dogs out there.

What next? Those little "ankle biters" that love to yap and nip anything that get's close enough??

fduvall
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Old 11.05.2007, 17:38
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

statistically labs are biters
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Old 11.05.2007, 17:50
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

I was searching for statistics to see where Labs show up as biters and could not find anything. But it would not surprise me if Lab mixes could be involved. But of the pure-bred, spayed/neutered Labs that I have been in contact with over the last 30+ years, they are some of the most gentle and patient animals I have seen.

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statistically labs are biters
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Old 11.05.2007, 21:22
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

This NZZ article has more complete information on the new ZH law:

Massvolle Verschärfung für Hundehalter*(Zürich und Region, NZZ Online)


The new rules will apply to dogs falling into List 1 category that are born after the law takes effect. Current owners of dogs in List 1 will be exempted. (But it is strongly recommended that these owners take classes.) The exemption is given because the canton has yet to define what criterion will be used to define a 'recognized training course'.

List 1 will include the following breeds (and their crosses):

Molosserhunde (z. B. Rottweiler, Dogge, Bernhardiner), Dobermann, Schäferhunde mit einigen Ausnahmen [German and Belgian Shepherds, with some exceptions], Schweizer Sennenhunde, nordische Hunde (z. B. Husky) mit einigen Ausnahmen, Apportierhunde (z. B. Labrador oder Golden Retriever), Schnauzer mit einigen Ausnahmen, Treibhunde [Herding dogs], grosswüchsige Terriers [large terriers], gewisse Spitze [certain, and I'm assuming the larger, members of the Spitz group], Pharaonenhund, Podenco, Podengo, grosswüchsige Laufhunde [large trailhounds], grosswüchsige Schweisshunde (z. B. Dalmatiner), Vorstehhunde (z. B. Irish Setter) [I think this includes the pointer group...] und Windhunde [Sight hounds].

List 2 remains the four breeds (American Pitbull, American Staffordshire Terrier; Bullterrier und Staffordshire Bullterrier.), but according to the NZZ the list will not be expanded.

ETA: I've bracketed translations for some of the breed groups given - please correct me if I'm wrong - I'm not much into KC stuff

Last edited by meloncollie; 11.05.2007 at 22:35.
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Old 11.05.2007, 21:39
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

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I was searching for statistics to see where Labs show up as biters and could not find anything. But it would not surprise me if Lab mixes could be involved. But of the pure-bred, spayed/neutered Labs that I have been in contact with over the last 30+ years, they are some of the most gentle and patient animals I have seen.

for statistics, see:

BVET - Prävention Hundebisse

Click on 'Beissunfälle: Statistik 2006'

But... bear in mind these look like gross numbers. What is not given is the % of bites within the breed population. And, as GSD are one of the most widely owned dogs in Switzerland, it would not then be surprising that they account for the most bites. But that does NOT mean that GSD as a breed are biters. We need more info to determine that. (It would , for instance, be intereesting to know how many of these bites included security dogs...)

Similarly, labs are also one of the most popular dogs, and - to pull an example out of the hat - labs are frequently owned by families with children BECAUSE they are so good natured. And kids sometimes do stupid stuff, even when mom tells them to leave the poor dog alone. Again - we need to know how many bites out of the total lab population, not just how many bites have occured.

Also bear in mind that the bites are reported by the victim. In the case of unknown dogs (although most bites, according to the report, occur within the family), the breed might have been a guess.

Bite statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt... or, at least with correlating information.

Last edited by meloncollie; 11.05.2007 at 22:23.
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Old 11.05.2007, 22:44
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

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for statistics, see:

BVET - Prävention Hundebisse

Click on 'Beissunfälle: Statistik 2006'

But... bear in mind these look like gross numbers. What is not given is the % of bites within the breed population. And, as GSD are one of the most widely owned dogs in Switzerland, it would not then be surprising that they account for the most bites. But that does NOT mean that GSD as a breed are biters. We need more info to determine that. (It would , for instance, be intereesting to know how many of these bites included security dogs...)

Similarly, labs are also one of the most popular dogs, and - to pull an example out of the hat - labs are frequently owned by families with children BECAUSE they are so good natured. And kids sometimes do stupid stuff, even when mom tells them to leave the poor dog alone. Again - we need to know how many bites out of the total lab population, not just how many bites have occured.

Also bear in mind that the bites are reported by the victim. In the case of unknown dogs (although most bites, according to the report, occur within the family), the breed might have been a guess.

Bite statistics need to be taken with a grain of salt... or, at least with correlating information.
Bite statistics are not accurate IMO. I've been bitten twice but both times by stupid yappy mutts as they did not really do much damage just a small cut & bruising they were never reported. I would presumme that most people would be the same in not reporting but as a large breed can cause significant injury they would be reported.
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Old 12.05.2007, 13:24
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

I think the key phrase and statistic in the report is that the victim almost always is closely linked to the dog.
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Old 12.05.2007, 15:00
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

this is quite sad. i am the owner of two dachshunds and was hoping with time and information gathering that i might someday be able to bring them with me. sadly, this does not seem like it is possible.

one of my dachshunds i rescued almost 6 years ago and she was classified by trainers i went to as mildly aggressive. she's a bit of a bully but she knows who is boss, and is very well behaved on a leash in public situations.

she just doesn't like (or understand) kids, or other dogs. which seems would be a problem. it sounds like bringing them with me would be a certain death sentence.

as a "yappy" dog owner...i do realize the statistics of dog bites. my brother works at a vet office and he says day to day he gets more bites from cats (which is highly infectious), and small dogs than he does from big dogs. the main difference is small dogs unless in large numbers can't really do the damage a big dog can...but! a bite is a bite.

here where my parents live there's a "3 strikes" rule for dogs who bite. after the third bite the dog must be put down. anyway...it's a bit sad but it's good i'm learning this now instead of later!

my sympathy for all the dog owners in switzerland.
-lily
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  #57  
Old 12.05.2007, 17:36
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

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Bite statistics are not accurate IMO. I've been bitten twice but both times by stupid yappy mutts as they did not really do much damage just a small cut & bruising they were never reported. I would presumme that most people would be the same in not reporting but as a large breed can cause significant injury they would be reported.
As the owner of a "stupid yappy mutt"... I resent that on her behalf... She could definately bite your hand off & she could eat children, if she felt like it.... She just doesn't feel like it right now... She's too busy laying her huge 2 kilo self (pure muscle, I might add) in the sun. But when she wakes up, you better watch your step...

Woof!
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Old 12.05.2007, 18:42
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Not all small dogs are stupid yappy mutts, just the two who bit me .
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Old 15.06.2007, 13:54
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

Update as of 15 June 2007:

http://www.nzz.ch/2007/06/15/il/newzzF2YE93UR-12.html

http://tagesanzeiger.ch/dyn/news/schweiz/762048.html

The Bundesrat has proposed less restrictive measures than the Nationalrat; they propose to make a dog owner automatically liable for damages done by his/her dog. (Currently, if an owner can prove that there was no negligence he/she might not be found at fault.)


On the darker side of the news, the Nationalrat has now accepted the WBK commission's proposal for new dog control legislation.

The commentary period for both proposals will run until 15 September 2007.

Under the Nationalrat version, in addition to labeling all dogs as either 'dangerous', 'potentially dangerous', 'less dangerous' using as yet undefined criterion, and imposing restrictions according to categories, the gov't. will have the authority to introduce further measures, such as leash laws and obligatory training classes, as it deems fit.

One thing that everyone should understand: The news articles discussing the Nationalrat proposal use the word 'verboten' (banned). Make no mistake - banned means dogs will be killed. Dogs will be killed, not because they have bitten, shown aggressive behavior, put a paw wrong, even so much as looked cross-eyed at someone. They will be killed because of breed and physical type.

(In Valais, where 13 breeds are now banned, all puppies born of those breeds, or crosses thereof, or who look like they might be crosses thereof must now be euthanized at birth. )

It's not just pit bulls, or 'criminal's dogs', or 'killer beasties' who fall under this legislation - every single dog in Switzerland, from Bernese Mountain Dogs to German Shepherds, to Collies, to Staffies, to Yorkies, to Poodles to Chihuahuas, and including your own beloved pet - will be affected.

Regardless of whether you are a dog lover or not, this badly conceived and badly written law - far too much is left open ended. The government is being given the authority to arbitrarily categorize our dogs - and in many cases, condemn them to death - without defining upfront what what the criterion for categorization will be.

Most of the politician involved in writing this law are not dog owners, nor has it been made public who the 'experts' consulted were, or that qualifications these so-called experts might even have. According to a letter published in Hunde-Online, there are only two breeders of pitbulls in Switzerland; these are the people who would have the necessary expertise to comment on the breed and it's character. Neither of these experts was ever contacted for input into the new legislation:

http://www.hunde-online.ch/pdf_2006/LB-WBK.pdf

(However, in an interview published by Hunde-Online, Heiner Struder of the EVP, one of the leading architects of this legislation, does speak on how his beliefs have influenced his input into this legislation.) See:

http://www.hunde-online.ch/pdf_2006/IDS.pdf

If you haven't done so already, please sign the Hunde-Online petition. And, if you are able to vote in Switzerland, please make your views known to your representatives.

And even if you can't vote, a letter to the Bundesrat, or to the Nationalrat respresentative of your district, would be a good idea.

Last edited by meloncollie; 15.06.2007 at 14:15. Reason: additional info/correction
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Old 15.06.2007, 14:09
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Re: Federal Dog Control Legislation

their standard bollocks is actually they will not have a Breed-Specific Legislation - rather an arbitary categorisation of dogs.

I for one will ensure votes will be No and if they think they can come around killing family pets, I will be happy to spend every last penny to defy this bullshit.

Shoot the owner, not the dog.
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breed specific legislation, cantonal dog law, federal dog law




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