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German Dog Law Update:
Constitutional Court requests proof to support 'dog bans'

OPPONENTS OF the Breed Specific 'Fighting Dog' laws in Germany are cautiously hopeful that the tide may finally be turning in their favour, thanks to an edict from the German Constitutional Court which may well expose the shortcomings of the BSL laws.

Late last year, the Court rejected an application from dog breeders and the German Kennel Club (VDH) to suspend key parts of the country's dangerous dogs legislation until such time as the German Supreme Court made its final ruling on whether the laws passed at national and regional level were, in fact, lawful.

Last week the Constitutional Court sent a request in writing, to each of the 16 Lander, or States Governments, (which includes the Ministerial Presidents down to every government group and office associated with the dog laws and ordinances, State veterinarians, etc.) saying that they have until March 15 to provide clear proof WHY these breeds should be banned in Germany.

This is similar to the long-standing EU request to the German Federal Government that they provide scientific proof that the four banned breeds (Pit Bull Terrier, American Stafford, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Bull Terrier) are more dangerous and prone to aggression than other breeds.

Thus far, the Federal Government has arrogantly refused to provide this information, despite the fact that their ban on dogs of these breeds entering Germany is contrary to EU 'free passage' laws. Whether the Lander will respond to the Constitutional Court's request remains to be seen, but if they refused or failed to provide adequate evidence, the court my very well annul their laws as unconstitutional.

German anti-BSL campaigner Cathie Detmar welcomed the Court's request, and told OUR DOGS: " At least the court is not going to sit on its backside for the next two years. We all know what evidence the different government agencies have used to come up with this list of banned breeds... 90% have used literature about 'fighting breeds' and 10% spoke from 'personal experience'...that is what is officially on two different court records!

So I am very interested to see what they provide the highest court in Germany. That's if they manage to provide any real evidence at all, of course. "The VDH has been fighting this sort of spurious 'information' for years, long before the harsh laws were introduced.

But now it will be interesting to see who's evidence the court prefers - the VDH's or the Landers'. I know who I'd believe!"