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Council weakens on dog breed ban

THE IMPLEMENTATION of a ban on 11 dog breeds in Dublin City Council homes has been stalled, following vigorous opposition to the plan by dog owners and organisations throughout Ireland, the UK and around the world.

After strong opposition from dog owners and activists, the council has abandoned its arrogant stance of non-communication and has begun talks on its tenants' right to appeal the restriction.
The criteria that might exclude some tenants from the ban, believed to affect at least 10,000 pet owners, are being debated with the ISPCA, the SPCA, and the Irish KC.

In a climbdown from their previous position, Dublin City Council said it did not favour dogs being put down and would "consider the situation" in certain circumstances.

A Council spokesperson said tenants would be able to appeal the ban to its Housing Residential Services in writing, but the procedure and criteria to ensure a dog is safe were still being hammered out. "We are only in the process of bringing in the ban," she said. "It has been passed but we are only rolling it out. We are in discussion with animal groups about how it would work."
Animal activists and pet owners have vigorously opposed the ban since it was introduced from July 1st. It applies to all tenancy agreements for all council homes in the city.

The council said it had introduced the ban after 10 attacks on people in Dublin since January, including three children.

The DSPCA said it was seeking legal advice about the ban and it might be challenged in the courts.

Leading dog training and awareness group Dog Training Ireland said it had received legal advice that the ban could not be enforced on existing tenants.

It believes the ban on keeping any of the 11 dogs in council houses or flats cannot be applied retrospectively as the Council did without consultation when it announced the move on July 11th.
A petition to reverse the decision has been organised by Irish lobbying group ANVIL (Animals Need a Voice in Legislation) in conjunction with the leading canine charity Dogs Trust. The petition can be signed online at: http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?anvil999