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Canine lovers protest for dogs' rights
Photo: DPA

Canine lovers protest for dogs' rights

Published: 02 Sep 2012 18:16 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Sep 2012 18:16 GMT+02:00

Canine lovers in Hamburg who complain of a dog's life for their pets are calling for a change in the law on breeds classed as dangerous.

With the changes to dog laws currently being up for discussion, owners of controlled breeds claim their animals are being discriminated against. They want the rules to be relaxed and took their protest to a square in the city's old town on Saturday.

"All animals are the same," Jule Thumser of the so-called Dog Lobby told the German Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper. "The breeds of dog that are considered dangerous here are family dogs in France or in the United States."

Thumser was one of 150 people who took part in the demonstration. At present, dogs such as the pit-bulls and bull terriers are categorised as "irrefutably dangerous." Owners must hold a special behaviour permit for their pets and pay for a €600 annual licence. Dogs also need to be muzzled and leashed in public.

A similar demonstration took place in Düsseldorf the previous weekend, when some 340 people took part in an organised walk with animals classed as fighting dogs.

"It is not fair, the way these dogs are treated," said organiser Christoph Oehl, who has organised the event for the past five years. "If a dog is aggressive, it has something to do with the owner and not with the breed."

Dangerous dog laws were introduced on a Germany-wide basis in response to attacks on people, but the enforcement is administered by individual states. The issue comes up for debate in Hamburg later this month.

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Your comments about this article

19:40 September 2, 2012 by jg.
"If a dog is aggressive, it has something to do with the owner and not with the breed."

That's half true - training and socialisation have a lot to do with how dogs behave. However, domestic dogs have been bred over hundreds of years to bring out certain desirable traits: collies to herd sheep, various gun dog breeds for hunting and bull terriers for bull baiting = fighting. This may be why, when you read a report of a dog attacking family members, friends or even complete strangers, it is almost always a bull terrier of some description. This week there is the case of the man in East Sussex who has been jailed for 12months and banned from keeping dogs for life after his dogs escaped from home and attached 10 people at random. There is a reason why these are the dog of choice for drug dealers - and it isn't because they make good family oets.
19:49 September 2, 2012 by IchBinKönig
'There is a reason why these are the dog of choice for drug dealers'

yeah, its because of the breeds reputation.

' it is almost always a bull terrier of some description.'

No, its usually a lap dog of some description. But that rarely makes the news. Besides, the police will call any dog a 'Bull Terrier' . A true bull terrier should be completely non-aggressive toward humans. It is only now with prohibition and misinformation that this traditional breed standard of human non aggression is bred out of the dogs. Thanks Prohibition, misinformation and back yard breeders!
21:24 September 2, 2012 by Oktober24
This reporter is right, it's only a SO-CALLED dog lobby. All other dog owners want these fighting breeds to stay either banned or severely restricted...otherwise they end up going on killing sprees that cost other, normal dogs (and even horses, cows, sheep, alpacas, and so on) their lives, to say nothing of children. In fact, polls show that 78% of people do NOT want to live next to a pit-bull type dog. That seems to me to be an overwhelming majority of voters.

Note how this SO-CALLED dog lobby lies. Pit-type dogs are not family pets in France and the US. They are severely regulated in France, and in the US more and more places are banning them altogether. American courts have recently agreed that the pit-bull type dog is inherently dangerous. They have been banned from American Armed Forces bases, and from American public housing for years already.

What a loser-wailing too: 'Ooooo, unfair how the killer dogs are treated...' What these dog-haters (and pit bull lovers) mean is: We don't like having to muzzle our monsters, even though the pit bulls don't mind the muzzle at all. We don't like having to pay extra for choosing inherently dangerous, genetically engineered killer dogs. We want our consumer choice without any extra costs. Hahaha, including when we dump it at the shelter in numbers that bankrupt said shelters!'

Go consumerism! Go the Age of Narcissism!

In Germany (and the Netherlands), there's something even more sinister behind it though. The pit-bull lobby in these countries has strong ties to the neo-Nazi movement. Some people (mostly pit owners?) will be proud of that, but I hope most of us will be ashamed. The Dutch gave in to this neo-Nazi pressure...and now several normal dogs are being savaged or killed daily by pit-type dogs; Dutch shelters are going bankrupt under a flood of bought then dumped pit-type dogs. Children are being savaged again... The whole song-and-dance that led to bans in the first place.

Last point... In these times of crisis, it's much cheaper to keep the pit-type dogs banned than to allow them. Enforcing a ban costs some money, but shelter costs if you repeal the ban are ten times as much.

If you made all these pit-fans totally and completely financially responsible for all the costs of their consumer choice, until the end of the pit bull's life -- be it paying ALL the medical bills forever for whoever the pit bull mauls, funeral bills and emotional suffering for whoever it kills plus their family, plus shelter costs for any pit bull dumped at a shelter -- why, these people wouldn't touch a pit with a ten foot pole anymore, not even the neo-Nazis.

Keep them banned and/or restricted!
21:59 September 2, 2012 by sonriete
To those who say courts in America agree to breed specific legislation (BSL) it is only a local court here and there that have ruled this way, other courts have ruled the opposite, there is currently a robust debate and certainly no consensus.

it is ironic how so much effort is being made to re- introduce wolves into the wild environment while at the same time they promote BSL for dogs.

nobody has to train wolves to attack, it comes naturally to them, and nobody is re-introducing them into people's living rooms, they are being re-introduced to roam free in the forests, and sometimes they will naturally come into towns as well, like Bruno the Bear.
00:15 September 3, 2012 by mobius77
In the United States Staffordshire Terriers (Pitbulls) are being classed as dangerous breeds and restricted. Two incidents have occurred in the last two weeks with one woman being killed by a pit bull that she owned.

Without doubt, bad owners, are a large part of the problem. In the USA there is a huge deficit of responsibility for people's behavior, which keeps the prisons full and the general populace in fear. There is no feeling among the public that regulation has any effect on bad behavior, of any kind.

The state of Maryland has declared Pit Bulls and their mixes to be inherently dangerous and impose liability on their owners and landlords. As a general concept. US citizens don't like to be reminded of anything that is wrong, or to take responsibility for their own actions.
06:50 September 3, 2012 by sally#
I agree that all animals are the same,but we must admit that some dogs are aggressive and will threat human beings. One should never intend to do harm to others,but should always guard against the harm others might do to him. It's normal to protect the self-security first.
09:53 September 3, 2012 by smilingjack
complete rubbish. all dogs are killers. dogs and men are the only 2 species alive that kill purely for fun. look inside a dogs mouth. dogs are pack animals and it cannot be bred out. whats next my dog doesnt bark either. dogs urinate on everything as an aggressive act. if you have a dog in your backyard there wont be a single other species there. try searching for the millions of dog attacks annually. look at australia where dogs have killed many people in the last several years with the same comment coming from owners time and time again. my puppy wuppy cutey wootey never did that before. right.assault charges leveled against the owner of any dog that attacks someone including bearing teeth and lunging growling and a massive fine. any serious attack - biting - comes with an attempted murder charge and jail.

if you want a dog keep it on your property. dogs are out of control and dog owners need to pay through the teeth to compensate the rest of society.
18:51 September 3, 2012 by sonriete
How many people were killed in Germany last year by dogs?

How many people were killed in Germany last year by drunk drivers?

Maybe we should ban alcohol.
12:40 September 6, 2012 by royp
The problem with the legislation is that when normal owners want to socialize their dogs then they cannot do this as the dog has to wear a muzzle.

The problem with laws is that only non criminals follow them, the type of people who don't actually need laws, as they act in a consierate manner. I own a dobermann she was six months old when I bought her, it turns out she has severe aggression issues that we are working on with trainers, and attapting to socialize her, in our dog socializing class it is full of other normal nice people who are trying to do the same, their are pit bull & bull terrier owners, most of thesae are women that have picked the dogs up at pounds or the rescue dogs imported by dog charities from spain or italy etc.. these are the people who care about laws, are doing everything possible to train their dogs, socialize their dogs , and the laws are just making their lives harder.

The average skin head white thrash idiotwho breads pit bulls, and causes all of the problems will not care about laws as he will just ignore them. So when normal people want laws to deal with the white thrash skin heads who spend all day drinking on hartz 4 and annoy everybody with their pit bulls, what really happens is that Joe skin head dumps said pit bull, pit bull ends up in rescue home. Nice caring person rescues pit bull spends time and money socializing same dog, now dog is trained and safe but resuer has to pay 600 euro tax have a list of stuped requirements such as muzzle etc for the now safe dog, making the nice rescuers life harder. The person laws are targeted against never suffer the consequences, the people at the protests will be these nice dog rescuers not neo nazis. The answer is either a large tax on these type of dogs with an option if the dog either passes a behaior test or is in training to pass behavior test then this tax is not needed, this way the police have a way to deal with Joe skin head but not punish the nice dog rescuers who will spend the time a nd money training and making safe these dogs.
22:32 September 9, 2012 by Zbyszek
Oktober 24 do not agree with your opinion. I live in Poland, and there is no ban on Bull Terrier breed. People have hundreds of these dogs at 90% are mixed race. Bitten by these dogs are very rare. In the last few years there have been three fatal bites by dogs breeds people Huski, Shepherd Owczrek Asian and German. It is clear that the race is not decided whether the dog is good or bad. Yours.
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