Experts request mandatory registration of dog bite incidents, owner education
Veterinarians, dog trainers and animal aid organizations believe the government's current action plan to tackle dog biting incidents is too weak, RTL Nieuws reports. They believe there should be a mandatory national registration system that tracks every time a dog bites a person.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality sent a letter to parliament earlier in the month, outlining a plan to deal with dog bites. It includes a voluntary national registration system and better education for dog owners.
However, according to many experts, these measures are not strict enough. The Royal Dutch Society for Veterinary Medicine (KNMvD) pointed out the importance of cooperation between police, veterinarians and doctors who treat dog bites.
"It is a missed opportunity that the registration of incidents is so non-binding," a spokesperson for the Dog Protection Agency told RTL. "We know too little and need to know more to gain insight into the extent of the problem in the Netherlands."
Daniela, whose daughter Rois was attacked by a Dogo Argentino last year, also believes much stricter rules should be in place for adopting dogs. At the moment, people can get a dog far too easily, which in Rois's case led to a life-and-death situation.
Although Rois has recovered, she had to spend time in the hospital after her scalp was torn by the dog. "[He] shook her like a rag doll," Daniela said.
The Dog Protection Agency also urged lawmakers to make an educational course mandatory for all dog owners. "The ministry recognizes that the most important role in a dog's dangerous behavior lies with the owner. So why not take a preventive approach?