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(Updated 26/03/01)

Protest letter call to German President

A LEADING anti-BSL campaigner in Germany is calling upon dog owners around the world to write letters of protest to the German President to prevent the German Federal Government’s ‘Fighting Dog’ legislation from becoming law.
The President, Herr Johannes Rau has yet to sign the Fighting Dog Bill, which was approved by both the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament, so the Bill has not yet gone onto the Statute Books and become law.


Gregor Von Dungen, the President of the Society of Bull Terrier Friends is urging dog owners around the world to write to Herr Rau, pointing out that the Bill is both unworkable and unconsititional, as well as being against accepted EU law, including the freedom of movement of goods between EU States.


Gregor Von Dungen told OUR DOGS: “Last Thursday week we had a meeting with the German Kennel Club, some other breed clubs and Professor Dr. Ziekow, one of the highest qualified and eloquent scientists on administrative law. He painted a very dark picture of our future.


“ He explained, that the President of Germany had not yet signed the new law, so that it is still not in force. The law forbids the import, breeding and ownership of Bull and Terrier breeds. Actually it is forbidden for a foreigner to visit Germany with his dog.”


Von Dungen points out that Prof Ziekov told them meeting that they would have a chance to prevent the President from signing, if a protest from the Commissioner of the European Commission Mr. David Byrne will arrive in time.


As previously reported, David Byrne has already requested that the German Federal Government supply scientific proof that the so-called ‘Fighting Breeds’ represent a danger to man and beast. To date he has not received a reply. If the Bill is signed, then Germany will be in direct breach of EU law.


Von Dungen adds: “Prof. Dr. Ziekow urges us to ask ALL breed clubs abroad to send letters of protest to Mr. Byrne pointing out the salient facts.”


Last chance


Dave Levy, the KC Liaison Officer for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Council echoed the call for a letter-writing campaign, saying; “This is one of our last chances to prevent this anti-dog legislation from becoming law. I cannot urge British dog owners strongly enough to support our German friends by writing in protest. It doesn’t just affect Germany in the long-run, as Breed Specific legislation is becoming rife throughout Europe as many countries follow the German example.


“Please don’t put off writing, treat it as a matter of urgency.”


Levy and Von Dungen point out that the legal issues involved are quite clear :
* The right to sell and export your dogs from other European countries to Germany will be forbidden by this Bill
* The right to visit Germany with your dog under the “pet passport” scheme - forbidden under this Bill
* That the law is contrary to those deemed necessary by ANY OTHER European state
* That there is NO EVIDENCE that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier represents any danger to the German public.


Dave Levy concludes: “If you or some of your breed club members have already sold puppies abroad, and especially to Germany, then specify the exact numbers and dates. If you have travelled to other European countries with your dogs, or are genuinely planning to do so, then make this clear. Even if none of these points apply to you at this moment, please consider whether you might ever consider selling puppies or travelling to Germany - and say that!


“European law says we have these rights and the German Government can only forbid us if they have proper scientific evidence that we represent a threat to their public’s safety.


“ Please write your own letter either as an individual or as the representative of your breed club where possible. Don’t just cut and paste our words. It is important that Mr Byrne understands that this is an issue that affects each of you and your members individually and independently. It is YOUR legal rights that are being trampled by these laws.”


Write to: Mr David Byrne, European Commissioner, Rue de la Loi 200, B-1049 Bruxelles, Belgium with a copy to: Undespraesident der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Herr Johannes Rau, Schloss, Bellevue, 10557 Berlin, Germany and an additional copy to: Herr Gregor von Dungen, Lindenstrasse 37, 72810 Gomaringen, Germany.