Shocked Germans to execute thousands of 'killer' dogs

Tighter regulations on attack dogs in Germany after child is killed

source: Imre Karacs
Independent on Sunday July 2 2000 p26

Regulations on attack dogs in Germany have been tightened after a pit pull terrier killed a six-year-old boy in Hamburg. The pit bull, Zeus, and a Staffordshire terrier, Gypsy, jumped a fence and attacked a group of children. The boy, Vulkan, tried to run away, and Zeus bit and held onto his throat. Gypsy also seriously mauled a child. Armed police shot both dogs, but Vulkan had died before they arrived.

The federal government of Germany had previously taken a gradual approach, arguing that regions should take control of dangerous dogs. This attack on children has led to a change in policy. The Hamburg government has decided that attack dogs should be tested for aggression, with dogs failing the test being put down. Other regions are also seeking tougher measures to control dogs. Chancellor, Gerhard Schroder, has called on his cabinet to draft measures on control of dogs. There has been more coordination between regional governments, and attack dogs will have to be neutered, muzzled and registered, with imports prohibited. Penalties for non-compliance include a three-year jail sentence. The new regulations have led to some attack dogs being abandoned, and there is a shortage of muzzles in pet shops.