Popular Demand: Switzerland Votes to Ban Pit Bulls
Geneva, Switzerland - Voters in Geneva agreed to banning dangerous dogs and requiring owners whose dogs weigh more than 25kg to have a permit to walk them in public. Cathy Maret, spokesperson for the Federal Veterinary Office, is convinced of the significance of the Geneva vote.
"It's the first time there has been a popular vote to ban certain breeds of dogs; and it's a clear signal by canton Geneva."
Dangerous dogs have been under the spotlight in Switzerland after the horrific death of a six-year-old boy killed by pit bull terriers in November 2005 in a small town near Zurich. Bans on dangerous dogs have already been imposed in cantons Valais and Fribourg and are under discussion in several other cantons.
Under the new measures, 12 dangerous dog breeds will be banned and owners whose dogs weigh more 25kg will need a permit to walk them in public. Additionally owners of dangerous dogs must hold a license, prove they have completed a dog-training course, muzzle their dog in public spaces, are limited to one per household, and prove that the animal comes from an approved breeder -- it is strictly illegal to breed or cross "fighting dogs."
DogsBite.org praises the citizens of Geneva for protecting human life and embracing measures that hold dangerous dog owners accountable.