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Police call for coordinated action on dangerous dogs

There have been a recent spate of attacks by fighting dogs in Switzerland


Cantonal police chiefs have called for a coordinated approach towards dealing with the problem of dangerous dogs. It follows a spate of highly publicised attacks on members of the public by fighting dogs.

At their conference in Basel on Friday, the police chiefs urged the introduction of a federal law on the ownership of aggressive breeds, which include Pitbull terriers, Rottweilers and Dobermans.

They said the current system, in which each canton had its own law, was not the right approach to dealing with the problem.

In recent incidents involving fighting dogs, a woman in Ticino was bitten in the face by a Pitbull, and another woman jumped into a river in Zurich after being frightened by a Doberman.

In one of the worst recent attacks, a six-year-old boy from canton Thurgau was savaged and critically injured by a Rottweiler.

Unlike many European countries, Switzerland has no legislation concerning dangerous breeds of dog. But pressure has been growing for a law to regulate ownership of the animals.

A survey last month by the French-language paper, "Le Matin", found a majority of Swiss in favour of an outright ban on fighting dogs, such as exists in Germany.

swissinfo with agencies

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