Please help stop the killing of Danish dogs!

The Danish Dog Act is under revision. But the law will remain applicable in its present form until change is adopted.

This means that Danish dogs will continue to be sacrificed daily, unless the killings are immediately put on hold.

Current content that causes the killing of our dogs:

1. Danish police directors must ensure the killing of dogs that have 'savaged'. There is no legal definition of  'savaged'.

2. Cases can not be tested in the courts.

3. Cases can not be tested in the courts.

4. Dog owners have the burden of proof when the pedigree of dogs is to be determined

The Danish Dog Act is under revision. But the law will remain applicable in its present form until change is adopted.

This means that Danish dogs will continue to be sacrificed daily, unless the killings are immediately put on hold.





PLEASE STOP KILLING OUR DOGS!





Danish law violates the legal security of dogs and dog owners.





In 2010, the Danish Parliament passed Law No. 717,  amending the Law on dogs and animal welfare. The following changes violate the rule of law:





1. Danish police directors must ensure the killing of dogs that have 'savaged'. There is no legal definition of  'savaged'.
In practice, dogs are judged to have savaged if a bite requires a doctor or a veterinarian to treat a wound by sewing  just one stitch. The cause of the bite does not have to be judged, nor is account taken of whether the dog has bitten another animal or a human.





2. Cases can not be tested in the courts.
The police exercise in these cases both judicial and executive power. This is not the case in other areas of Danish law.





3. Law prohibits 13 breeds and mixtures of these.
Breed bans were adopted in order to reduce the number of dog bites, but they have demonstrated in practice no effect on their number. There is no evidence to support the idea that banning breeds selectively has any effect in reducing the number of dog bites, either in Demark or in other countries.





 





4. Dog owners have the burden of proof when the pedigree of dogs is to be determined.
In all other areas in Danish law, the burden of proof is on the prosecution.





The amendment was adopted by the Danish parliament, despite warnings by a committee of established experts who were against the changes.





When the police issue fines in connection with an accusation, these can be tested in the courts. In such cases, some dog owners have had their fines cancelled. By this we must conclude that the owner - and thus the dog - have been acquitted of any offence - but the dogs had already been put down. The fines can be tested, but the accusations can not. This is in violation of the rights of the dog owners, and against any idea of natural justice for the dogs.





The law requires dog owners to prove their dog's lineage. Evidence of this is only available if the dog is pure bred and pedigree. In practice this means that any cross-bred dog is effectively illegal, and the owner can be prosecuted simply for owning the dog, without any other offence being committed.





There is no evidence to suggest that the dog's genes can be determined on the basis of its appearance alone. In Denmark DNA testing can not be used to confirm or deny the breed of a dog.





Many owners of mixed breed dogs or dogs without pedigree go in fear of being stopped by the police, or of being involved in neighbor disputes, because the reversed burden of proof leaves no opportunity to clear a dog suspected to have a genetic make-up related to blacklisted breeds.





Many dog owners opt out of social activities with their dogs, as a single accident during play could mean the death of the dog. If this continues Danish dogs will be poorly socialized, increasing their aggression and anxiety. This will increase the number of dog bites.





Since 2010 the Danish police have killed 1 - 2 dogs per day. A total of 1400 - 2000 dogs are killed. Many of them were family dogs who have just shown normal dog behavior or have been accused of being blacklisted breeds.





In 2010, it was determined that the law should be re-evaluated in this current year, and Minister of Food and Agriculture Mette Gjerskov has initiated an evaluation of the law. The first meetings has taken place in the ministry.





All indications are that there will be a majority in parliament for changes that will improve the position dogs and dog owners under the law. ‘Savaged’ will be defined and it also seems likely that many politicians will want to abolish the breed ban blacklist.





The Minister expects that changes in the law could be adopted and enter into force at the end of the year.
Despite the above, the law will remain applicable in its present form until change is adopted. This means that 1-2 Danish dogs will continue to be sacrificed daily, unless the killings are immediately put on hold.





The Minister – Mette Gjerskov - denies that she has authority to put the killings on hold, but it is within National Commissioner Jens Henrik Højbjerg’s authority. He is responsible for the police and for their prioritization and treatment of cases.





The Act does not set deadlines for implementation, so nothing will happen without immediate implementation of any changes.

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