Swiss split over solution to dangerous dogs

Switzerland is pondering what to do about breeds such as the Pitbull Keystone

The Swiss are split over the issue of what to do with dangerous dogs, according to a new poll. The survey, carried out by the French-language newspaper "Le Matin", found that 54 per cent favoured an outright ban on such dogs.

This content was published on October 30, 2000 - 07:39

But 46 per cent favoured simply better training for such breeds as the Pitbull, Rottweiler, and Staffordshire bull terrier.

A six-year-old canton Thurgau boy was savaged by a Rottweiler last week, and remains in intensive care. Earlier, a canton Neuchatel mother was badly bitten after trying to stop a Satffordshire from attacking her child.

Unlike many other European countries, Switzerland does not have any legislation concerning such dogs. Germany, where two Pitbulls killed a child earlier this year, has opted for an outright ban.

But the lack of a law dealing with the dogs has faced criticism. On Saturday, Jörg Schild, the president of the body grouping the Swiss cantons' police and justice departments, told German-language radio that he was no longer prepared to wait for the federal government to act.

Schild said that a permit regime should be imposed on certain breeds, and that the cantons would be discussing the issue in two week's time. He also advised his cantonal colleagues to consider local-level legislation against dangerous dogs.

Switzerland's federal veterinary office is currently carrying out a study to identify which breeds are dangerous. A report is due late next year.

swissinfo with agencies

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