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Danish parliament considers next move

Mass cull could follow ‘vicious attacks’ in Denmark


A recent proposal in Denmark to cull all mongrel dogs has provoked a furious response from owners, animal welfare groups and MPs.

After recent reports of a spate of vicious dog attacks on humans, Denmark’s parliament looked set early this week to finally pass a ban on breeds of dog that are considered dangerous. The debate e has been going for many months, with the country’s Justice Ministry even creating a special commission to study the problem.

The new law would ban aggressive breeds, such as pit bulls and mastiffs, however, an MP has gone one step further and suggested that all cross-breeds should be killed. Flemming Moller, from the governing Liberal Party, is steadfast in his calls for a mass slaughter. "We will surely see lots of press photos of sweet little puppies being put down but we must be determined," he told the Economist.

His proposal has caused an outcry and other MPs have distanced themselves from it.
An estimated 40,000 mongrels are born in Denmark each year, and a cull of such proportions would sentence to death hundreds of thousands of animals

But after three violent dog attacks in as many days, a complete ban on certain breeds will almost surely be passed by the Danish government before the end of the year. The latest incidents involved an alleged Staffordshire Bull terrier and an ‘American bulldog’, both of which are breeds that have become quite popular in Denmark in recent years.

The Danish Kennel Club estimates that in the past five years, the number of mastiffs, rottweilers, pit-bull terriers and other so called "muscle dogs" has grown from 1,000 to 20,000.

Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the prime minister, said he was not prepared to live in a country where ‘you cannot go walking with your child or your poodle without risking an attack’.

The Copenhagen Post states the ban has solid support from both the Liberal and Conservative parties within the government. In addition to the ban, the proposal would also make breeding, importing and selling violent dog breeds illegal.

Earlier in the year, the Justice Ministry committee studying the issue came up with a list of breeds that should be outlawed, as well as the rules that would pertain to cross breed dogs. Dog owners naturally feel that the ban would unfairly punish owners of well-behaved pitbulls.

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