This week's DaDane features a portrait of a Bulldog. I took his picture at Germany's VDH Europasieger-Zuchtschau 2000, a European championship all-breed dog show which is held each May. I promise that next week we'll get back to the business of Great Danes, but this week I want to bring up the issue of the "breed bans" currently taking place throughout most of Germany.
In July of this year many of Germany's provinces introduced legislation banning various breeds of so-called "attack" dogs Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers as well as restricting up to thirty additional breeds, including the American Bulldog, Mastiffs, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Bullmastiffs and Bullterriers. This may sound trivial to some of you, but the impact on the various breeds and their owners is serious business.
We first heard about this breed legislation in early July. Almost all of the news was coming via the internet, and emotions were running high among those reporting. The reliability of the information was unclear and I was reluctant to mention the breed bans on DaDane of DaWeek, even though I was running a series of German Great Dane portraits. I decided to wait for more "mainstream" news reports.
The Washington Post has since published a few articles on the subject. The first article began:
If you would like to read the rest of the article, please go to the Washington Post's website: Dogs as Scapegoats for Social Problems.
A follow-up appeared on July 28. It began:
The remaining text of the article can be found at: German Frenzy Over Mean Dogs Misses Point, Washington Post.
As we move into August, it's unclear how this situation will shake out. I know of one German Great Dane breeder who is so worried about the future of his Great Danes that the entire family is attempting to relocate to Italy. Meanwhile there are stories circulating about large numbers of "scheduled" dogs being secretly transported across German borders to safer venues. Fortunately, there are indications that German legislators are taking a closer look at their impending breed legislation and, hopefully, reevaluating their positions.
For those of you who would like to voice your concern, electronic petitions are available. I have listed a few of them here: Petition against the German Breed Ban at workingdog.com, Scandinavian Petition at alltomhundar.com and German Petition, with English translation, at fox-terrier.de.
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