A broad majority of MPs are backing a plan by the ruling VVD to stop people from breeding and keeping aggressive dogs which have powerful jaws and can give serious bites.
The aim is to reduce the number of incidents in which heavy-jawed dogs bite and shake humans and other animals, resulting in serious injuries and occasionally death.
In August Dutch plastic surgeons sounded the alarm, saying they had had to deal with over 100 serious dog bites in 18 months. “We are talking about an awful lot of incidents,” VVD parliamentarian Erik Haverkort told RTL Nieuws. “Not every victim goes to a plastic surgeon.
The plan does not envisage a ban on certain breeds of dog “because there are always breeders who come up with new crosses that are not covered,” Haverkort said. But this can be prevented, he said, by implementing a ban based on certain characteristics.
The Netherlands introduced a total ban on the breed of dog known as a pitbull in 1993 but it was dropped in 2008 and replaced by new rules allowing officials to seize aggressive dogs. The ban was brought after three children were killed by pitbulls, but officials say it has not led to a reduction in incidents.
Farm minister Piet Adema has now been asked to turn the VVD’s plan into legislation. He is already working on new rules to phase out the breeding of dogs and cats which suffer because of their extreme appearance as well as plans to make sure all domestic cats are chipped and registered, to reduce the problems caused by strays.
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