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Switzerland: Child bitten by a Bull terrier: measures again required

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Switzerland: Child bitten by a Bull terrier: measures again required

Swiss

Child bitten by a Bull terrier: measures again required

While Switzerland had abandoned mandatory courses for dog owners in 2017, the tragedy that occurred in Zug this weekend is reviving the debate.

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Illustrative image.

ZUM/Sibylle Meier

The nine-year-old child who was bitten several times by a bull terrier on Saturday in the canton of Zug brings back bad memories and the debate about dangerous dogs in Switzerland. This drama is the straw that broke the camel’s back for National Councilor Lilian Studer (PEV / AG). “Such dogs should only be kept with special permission,” said the politician, who said she was shocked by this event.

Switzerland had already taken the issue seriously after the death of a six-year-old boy in 2005 (see box), but parliament backtracked in 2016, leaving the cantons responsible for imposing or not imposing courses on owners. Last week, in the canton of Geneva, we demanded the return of these courses after noticing an increase in incidents. Freiburg has already taken the leap in February.

Lilian Studer condemns a legislative “patchwork” and calls for a national list of dogs deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous. The Aargau politician also wants to re-introduce the compulsory training of dogs throughout Switzerland in a uniform way, an idea supported by an elected public loan from the canton of Zurich.

The death of little Süleyman in Oberglatt (ZH) shocked Switzerland in the autumn of 2005. Three mastiffs brutally attacked the six-year-old boy on his way to school. This drama had touched the political world across the country. Valais, Geneva, Fribourg, and Zurich had quickly introduced lists banning the ownership of certain dog breeds at cantonal level. Parliament has consistently rejected this idea at the federal level. Today thirteen cantons have such lists. Another measure that was taken after the Oberglatt tragedy: the national obligation to follow dressage courses. It was introduced in 2008 and was removed in early 2017.

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(dgr/may/mon/jba)

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