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Dog owners to face tougher rules

The government wants to make all dog owners in Switzerland liable for damage caused by their pets - regardless of breed.

Under a draft law, to be discussed by parliament at a later stage, dog owners would also have to take out mandatory insurance.

The justice ministry said the aim was to ensure that victims of dog bites – an estimated 300 people a year – receive financial compensation .

Dog owners currently are not responsible for damage if they can prove that their pets have been kept correctly.

The draft legislation comes amid debate over dangerous dogs in the wake of a deadly incident in Zurich two years ago, when three pitbulls killed a boy.

Bans on dangerous dogs have been imposed or are under discussion in several cantons, but so far there have been no specific nationwide laws on the issue.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR