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Working group set up to deal with dangerous dogs

The authorities have announced new moves to deal with the problem of dangerous dogs in Switzerland. The federal veterinary office said it was setting up a working group on Monday to coordinate policy.

The announcement comes just days after the first death in Switzerland directly caused by a dog. A 33-year-old Brazilian woman drowned on Friday after jumping into a river in Zurich to escape a Doberman, which was attacking her.

The director of the federal office, Hans Wyss, confirmed reports in the "SonntagsBlick" newspaper that a working group was being set up to include representatives of federal and cantonal authorities.

"The aim is to draft a model law which can then be applied in all 26 cantons," Wyss said.

The move appears to have been triggered by Friday's meeting of cantonal police chiefs, which issued a call for a federal law to regulate ownership of fighting dogs.

It follows a spate of attacks by dogs, including Pitbull terriers, Rottweilers and Dobermans.

Earlier this month the veterinary office set up a hotline for people concerned about the problem. It has so far received nearly 300 calls, mainly from dog owners.

swissinfo with agencies

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