Parliament pushes to to ban breeding, owning bite-dangerous dogs
The lower house of the Dutch parliament wants to ban the breeding and keeping of dogs that pose a risk of biting. There is broad support for a plan launched by the VVD on Animal Day on Wednesday, RTL Nieuws reports.
The VVD’s plan focuses on banning dogs that can bite with a lot of force, do not let go, and shake and pull. Such dogs can cause serious wounds, the association of plastic surgeons warned in August. Over the past 18 months, they’ve performed surgery 100 times to patch up people hurt in dog bites.
“There are many incidents every year. Of course, the victims do not always end up at the plastic surgeon,” said VVD parliamentarian Erik Haverkort. “There is no good reliable data, but according to estimates from years ago, 150,000 people and many more animals are bitten every year.”
Haverkort thinks a ban on breeding and keeping bite-dangerous dogs will reduce the number of incidents. His plan focuses on characteristics instead of breeds. He pointed out that a regulation on aggressive dog breeds that was in effect from 1993 to 2008 had little impact. “When we designate breeds, there are always breeders who come up with new crosses that do not fall under the ban. We must prevent that.”
Another part of the VVD’s plan is a better registration system for biting incidents. Only a few municipalities provide data to the current national dog file, which means that the scope of the problem and which dogs are responsible for them are hard to determine. “We must ensure that all municipalities participate by supporting and facilitating them. In principle, it should work. And if necessary, we should make registration mandatory,” Haverkort said.
The VVD asked outgoing Agriculture Minister Piet Adema to further develop the plan. Adema is already working on a system banning the breeding of dogs with characteristics that are bad for their health. The VVD finds it logical to add bite-dangerous dogs to this system. Here, too, experts should indicate which characteristics make dogs dangerous when it comes to biting.