Breed Specific Legislation News Update:
Major break through as common sense prevails and Holland lifts its ‘pit bull’ ban after fifteen years!
The Dutch Government announced that Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in the Netherlands is not to be amended, altered or tinkered with but to be REPEALED: Sending out a powerful message around the world that breed bans are not only cruel but have not and do not protect the public.
The Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Gerda Verburg, announced to the Parliament on June 9th 2008, that the breed ban would be repealed.
The law was introduced in 1993 following three fatal dog attacks. Known as RAD-Arrangement for Aggressive Animals, it was aimed at the ‘pit bull terrier type’. Dogs once deemed ‘illegal types’ could be seized and destroyed.
The Netherlands BSL condemned to death dogs based on their physical appearance. Later in 2000, the Rottweiler was added to the banned list, the breed will also be legalised when the ban is extinguished.
A committee had been formed to re-examine the legislation and they advised the ban be repealed.
It has been found, that the law has not worked; there has been no decrease in the number of biting incidents during the fifteen years under BSL.
The Dutch Government commissioned a study* into dog bites and this led the way to repeal of failed legislation.
When the law was introduced in 1993, existing owners were able to keep their dogs if registered with the police, neutered, muzzled and leashed when in public (similar to the UK DDA).
American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers were exempt - providing that they were registered as purebred with paperwork to prove it.
The Rottweiler was added to the prohibited dogs list seven years later in 2000.
* Dog bites in the Netherlands: A study of victims, injuries, circumstances & aggressors to support evaluation of BSL (The Veterinary Journal (2009), doi; Cornelissen, J.M.R, Hopster, H.)
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