DEFRA now looking at Convention despite saying IT WOULD NOT

Despite their national party policies, Labour and Liberal Democrat MP’s are divided over their attitude to the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.

Prospective Parliamentary Candidates were questioned in the run up to the 1997 General Election, to ascertain the three main parties views on the Convention.

Labour is officially opposed to docking and in favour in principle of signing the Convention. However only 34% of the candidates who responded supported this view. Of the remainder, 13% said they supported the retention of docking and would not sign the Convention, while 53% expressed no view on the matter.

Of the Liberal Democrats who replied, 30% supported the party’s clear commitment to sign the Convention and ban docking. However, an almost equal number, 28%, opposed this view, while 34% expressed no view at all.

Conservative opposition to the Convention was strong. Of those candidates who replied, 84% were opposed to the Convention and supported the retention of docking, while only 1% would sign the Convention and see docking banned. The remaining 15% expressed no view.

While the clear support for the Convention from Labour and the Liberal Democrats must remain a matter of great concern to all breeders of pedigree dogs, it is encouraging to see the divergence of opinion which is now apparent.

Lobbying clearly set candidates thinking about this issue, and it is particularly interesting to see the views of Labour candidates. During the 1997 election run up, it was pointed out to Labour that even their own mascot, Fitz the bulldog, would be banned under the Convention, it seems that the party’s enthusiasm for the Convention has markedly cooled.

In May 2000 however, the Home Office stated the following:

“I can inform you that the Government is publicly committed to start a review of the question of whether or not the UK should ratify the Convention. We shall shortly be conducting a consultation exercise with interested parties about the Convention. It is not known at this stage when the review will be complete”

It was never completed in the first Labour administration, but in August 2001, Elliott Morley (the Minister for animal health and welfare) announced that a review would commence.

Nothing more was heard until DEFRA announced a full review of Animal legislation in January 2002 with NO MENTION of a review of the Convention being involved. Details can be found here.

On the very day that submissions to the consultation paper had closed, DEFRA issued a Press Release quoting Elliot Morley as follows: “DEFRA is also reviewing the UK’s position in relation to the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. Many of the issues covered by the Convention have been raised in DEFRA’s public consultation on animal welfare legislation.

Mr Morley said:

“Now would be a good time to look again at the Convention. It is too early to speculate on where we go from here – but a review, tying in with our own consultation would seem logical.”
The Convention was one of four matters which was expressly excluded from the Animal Welfare consultation. If Ministers were minded to consider signing up to this well-meaning but woolly piece of European legislation, would it not have been reasonable to invite comment on it at the same time as other welfare issue?

It seems likely that some of those 1,600 letter writers might have wished to have given DEFRA the benefit of their advice on the European Convention. Perhaps Ministers knew that the advice they would have received would not have been to their liking!

Dangerous Dogs, Dangerous Governments

Many dogs will not be eligible to enter that show !!! Not only the BSL dogs.

Since Germany applied its new law, in total contradiction with European laws and FCI rules : NO CROPPED OR DOCKED DOG WILL BE ALLOWED TO COMPETE IN GERMAN SHOWS ANYMORE AND THIS APPLIES TO EVERY DOG, GERMAN OR FOREIGN !!!!!!

It will now be even more difficult for any continental dog to achieve an FCI International Champion Title and it is worth considering if Germany should be banned from holding any International Shows where the CACIB is awarded as so many foreigners won’t be able to participate!

Boycott ? In fact, Germany has ensured that only home bred dogs can compete, a kind of “Lets have our own World Championship Special for Ourselves” !!!

Power Mad, Knee Jerk Governments Get it Wrong

Although this site is primarily pointing out the pitfalls of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, we feel duty bound to bring the following to your attention. The Dangerous Dogs Act in the UK is one example of knee jerk reaction by Government, but worst still is the even more draconian action being taken by the German Government, details of which follow.

We in the UK need to campaign against the actions being carried out in Germany as we could be next. Being part of the European Union certainly has its advantages. Unfortunately, it also has its disadvantages as the following could spread across Europe in no time at all:

The following articles have been reproduced with permission:

SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE BREED BAN IN GERMANY!

SIGN THE WORKINGDOGS.COM PETITION!

http://workingdogs.com in case anyone thinks its just pitbulls heres a more comprehensive break down:

This list varies according to which part of Germany you live in so you can cross the street and your legal dog suddenly becomes a banned dangerous dog!

Cat.1)
American Staffordshire Terrier
Pitbull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier
Neopolitan Mastiff
Spanish Mastiff
Dogue de Bordeux
Dogo Argentino
Fila Brasileiro
Roman Fighting Dog
Chinese Fighting Dog
Bandog
Tosa Inu

Cat.2)
Akbash
Briard
Beauceron
Bullmastiff
Dobermann
Estrela Mountain Dog
Komondor
Kuvasz
Maremma
Mastiff
Pyrenean Mastiff
Pyrenean Mountain Dog
Rottweiler
Tibetan Mastiff

and 15 other European herding breeds

The owners of these breeds must register with the stadt, and obtain a dog handling licence. Permission to continue to own one of these dogs will be granted if the dog has shown no evidence of aggression towards people, game, livestock, cats and other dogs for more than 3 years. The dog can only be exercised by a person over 18 years, and must wear a leash and muzzle at all times.

Cat.1 dogs, and those who have shown aggression, cannot be bred from under any circumstances. My understanding of the regulations is that if you can show your dog is of no danger to the public, you may be exempted from the muzzle/leash requirement.

Cat.3) Any dog over 40cm/20kg.

Cat.3 dogs should be on a leash in built up areas, and will be moved up to Cat.2 if they show any aggression. We’re going to have to wait to see what the final regulations are. from Angela in germany additional information As of 8:00 this morning, the ruling has come down early, due to the attack and death of a six year old boy in Hamburg.

The entire country of Germany has officially banned the following breeds: Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Terrier. Those now in the country can be exported out. Any dogs that remain, must take a state run temperament test. If passed: spayed/neutered. If failed: euthanasia.

If you are caught breeding or buying one of these breeds, a $50,000 fine and six months jail term are imposed. The Bull Terrier is on this list in some parts of Germany as well, including the Miniature BT. In other parts, the BT must pass the temperament test (which is 3 hours long and videotaped, at a cost of $500.00 per dog) If the dog passes, the animal may be used in a breeding program, as long as the breeder is a member of the VDH. If failed: euthanasia.

The Minister of the Interior for our area is going to try and separate the VDH breeders from those who breed without papers, which will save our breed. The final decision on this will come middle September. There is no fighting this in the courts. Hopefully, all of the emails, letters and faxes from around the world will help to exclude the Bull Terrier from extinction in parts of Germany. But we were warned…if another serious dog attack occurs where the injuries are life threatening or death occurs, then all of these breeds are finished. This includes the other breeds I mentioned last month (Doberman, Rottweiler, Mastiff, etc.)

One region of Germany has 16 breeds on their ‘Forbidden List’. These laws are now before the politicians in Sweden, Italy and Spain. With the European Union in place, it is likely most of Europe will follow Germany’s decision. It is a sad day for the registered breeders of the VDH. We cannot breathe a sigh of relief yet, the BT’s fate is still hanging the air in some parts of the country. In other parts, it is over. There are a total of nearly 30 dog breeds on the A, B, C list. Some face extinction, others face severe limitations. It is a terrible day for dog owners and breeders nationwide.

Rudi and Cathie Dettmar

The above note may be duplicated unless stated otherwise (jan cooper) mailto:jan4rott@rott-n-chatter.com

In Germany we have “Killing time” again. There are hot-lines were you can point out people who are owning a “fighting dog.” Dobermans, Rottweilers and a lot of other dogs have to carry bait bags all the time outside (since a few days). For _all_ dogs higher then 40cm and/or over 20Kg weight you need a special licence and you have to use a dog line for these dogs all the time.

We in Germany do as much as possible against this new crazy politics, but we need also help as much as possible. Today the county Hessen announced they will kill about 5000 “fighting dogs” soon… Of course there was no accident with one of these dogs in this county.

In my county the “fighting” dogs are: American Staffordshire Terrier, Pitbull Terrier, Staffordshire Bullterrier, Bullterrier, Mastino Napolitano, Mastino Espanol, Bordeaux Dogge, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Römischer Kampfhund, Chinesischer Kampfhund, Bandog, Tosa Inu, Berger de Brie (Briard), Berger de Beauce (Beauceron), Bullmastiff, Carpatin, Dobermann, Estrela-Berghund, Kangal, Kaukasischer Owtscharka, Mittelasiatischer, Owtscharka, Südrussischer Owtscharka, Karakatschan, Karshund, Komondor, Kraski Ovcar, Kuvasz, Liptak (Goralenhund), Maremmaner, Hirtenhund, Mastiff, Mastin de los Pirineos, Mioritic, Polski Owczarek, Podhalanski, Pyrenäenberghund, Raffeiro do Alentejo, Rottweiler, Slovensky Cuvac, Sarplaninac, Tibetanischer Mastiff, Tornjak.

Soon we will find non of these dogs in Germany again. Please help us. Don’t make holidays in Germany, tell it to your friends, tell and or write it to organizations which may can help (but please don’t crosspost this through all Newsgroups – then it’s Spam).

Thanks.

Regards Michael from de.rec.tiere.hunde (german speeking newsgroup about dogs)

Yet again certain dog breeds have been brought into disrepute by owners actions , this time the tragedy resulted in the death of a six year old child and the destruction of two dogs , they two dogs involved were reported by the press as an American Pitbull and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

I say that it was owners actions even though the dogs were the ones blamed and culled , these dogs should never have been off the leash in the first place they are powerful and even in play can injure by knocking even the strongest person to the ground , my sympathies go to the family of the child killed and to the services who had to do the destruction of the dogs in this harrowing episode.

Knee jerk reactions to the medias so called devil dogs don’t work , there is no such thing as a bad dog only bad owners, rarely there are mitigating medical conditions that make a dog bad these would and should be noticed by a caring owner long before any tragedy can happen. A dog with a dislike for humans has a reason to dislike humans , like maltreatment by its owner and protecting its owner or their ground/territory. If the dog is protecting its owner and or its territory then its not the dog or the owners fault , rather its the fault of the other person or dog for not respecting the dog and its instincts in the first place.

Just because a dog looks menacing and scary doesn’t mean it is , although it should be given the respect it deserves, I myself was wary of the Staffordshire bull terrier breed, hell its hard not to be wary of a big muscle that ignores pain and has a mouth that big (most of the time its smiling though), but after buying one of my own as a companion for my disabled wife I have grown to respect them and love them as if a child of my own. I would lay down my life to protect or save my dog from harm, as I am sure my dog would for my family.

Rather than sterilisation, muzzling and destruction, why not have licences for these dogs and other dogs of the ilk and also a taxation system for them with mandatory chipping , DNA testing and compulsory personal injury insurance. It is tragic that children and adults alike are killed or maimed by dogs (mostly uncontrolled or street strays) around the world on a daily basis , and most of these tragedies are not caused by the so called devil dog breeds at all. What will it take globally to realise that staffords and their ilk will be ground to extinction for indescetion of a rotten few owners, because of power of print in the gutter press and vote chasing scaremongering members of parliament who know nothing of dogs or have one of s different breed our dogs could be destroyed.

Not all dogs are Labradors or retrievers , take heed MP’s. I have been attacked by a dog and it was a Rough Collie , my handicapped sister was attacked by a dog and that was a Scottish Terrier , both dogs were not raised from pups rather they were adopted at around two years old, yet I don’t pigeon hole these breeds for a couple of bad ones. I find that most people need educating on their dog and its breed , why not make it harder to own a dog in general by having to sit an examination and be vetted by the RSPCA as to the suitability of its intended surroundings , this is what is beginning to happen with certain breeds in the UK within the breeding fraternity unknown to the press and government.

In some cases I know dog owners are having them sterilised because of the responsibility involved in ensuring that pups are homed correctly , these people love their dogs and the breed so much that the stress involved in making sure that the dogs will not be abused and persons harmed is too great and their dog is spayed. I only ever take my dog off its leash in secluded areas where neither person or other dog can be harmed I consider that essential to dogs wellbeing and a matter of good handling. I will never muzzle my dog as I handle him correctly restraining him as persons or other dog approaches , he never goes for other dogs but instead when the oncoming dog is big he will lay down and wait for the other dog to attack first before retaliation , if the other dog is friendly so is he , if his mentality changes for the worse I would not have any hesitation in muzzling him.

While out on the leash with my wife a wandering uncollared collie cross growled at my wife (shes been around staffords and other breeds nearly 30 years) and drew close to her to bite her and my dog gave it a warning mouthing , he would never been able to do this being muzzled. Besides this another argument against muzzling on a hot day a dog lets heat out by panting and this cannot be done with a muzzle on.I am not against muzzling when the situation dictates , like a dog with a dislike for other dogs or humans , in general a muzzle protects a dog against being destroyed more than it protects the safety of other dogs and humans. Do think of it this way, on hot days or during moderate to heavy exertion the dog must pant , how would you like to wear a furry coat get your exercise on a hot day and not be allowed to cool down?

The solution to the dog and human safety debate is education , licensing ,legislation of owners/breeders and their responsibilities and ultimately insurance , not as some may believe sterilisation , destruction and blanket bans on breeding. I expect that my proposals wont be liked by the some of the long established dog owners and breeders ,who truly do know about their breeds and handling them although they dont see the need for these measures , but remind them you cant breed if the government wont let you because its been told not to let you from brussels.

If we the owners and breeders do not secure the correct kind of measures then our breeds will disappear , so is it not better that we the breeders , owners ,kennel clubs and the RSPCA should all work together to ensure the future safety of our breeds and safety of the public? It is unfortunate that if we must adopt legislation on our breeds ,then should we not have the say in the matter of how to best implement them? To ensure the wellbeing of human/canine safety and our breeds surviving then better we do the things I have mentioned than watch the breeds disappear into oblivion , or for that matter go deeper underground for the nastiest of things like fighting. Neither dog wins in a dog fight.

Yours, Chris Robertson claymore.unlimited@usa.net

p.s. As I’m not omnipotent (yet) feel free forward this letter to your MP or Govt. rep in your country and/or send a similar one of your own and get things moving within your dog clubs with petitions. Feel free to print copies or use on the web as long as the letter is used in its entirety , above all if these proposed draconion laws are put into practice on the continent they will eventually end up having to be adopted in the UK like other European rules and laws dumped upon our shores from brussels.