American Bulldog Banned In Gibraltar
The Government of Gibraltar has issued news of its plan to ban the American Bull Dog. In a statement released by the Government last week, it was revealed that due to a series of attacks from American Bull Dogs on other dogs, the Government now believes the breed to pose a danger to people and other dogs and therefore has banned the breed, effective of January 11.
Owners of the breed have been given three choices. To permanently export their pet, have it destroyed or to pay £50 followed by £25 a year for the rest of the dogs life to apply for an exemption.
Dog owners on the Rock are furious at the apparent hypocrisy of the move. One group called the Government into account, slamming them for the decision.
"On the one hand the government is saying these dogs are dangerous and should be got rid off or destroyed. On the other hand they are saying you can keep your dog alive if you pay us money. It's outrageous."
Gibraltar's minister for the environment has expressed an intention to keep the new legislation "flexible" in case they want to add any more breeds to the list in future.
Government of Gibraltar Statement.
"Under the provisions of Section 2 of the Dangerous Dog Act 2003 the Government, has made an Order declaring the "American Bulldog" a dangerous dog. The Order comes into effect on the 11 January 2007. This action was deemed necessary following concerns by members of the public regarding a series of attacks locally by these type of dogs on other smaller dogs which resulted in horrific injuries.
The American Bulldog is an emerging breed and the Government is concerned that because of their large muscle mass and strength these animals have the ability to deliver a very powerful attack on other dogs and persons alike. These dogs are therefore considered dangerous and are now required to be kept muzzled and on a lead whilst in a public place or any place to which the public have access.
Within a period of two months of the Order coming into force an owner of this type of dog has to permanently export it, destroy it or apply to the Commissioner of Police for an exemption. An owner who fails to take any of these courses of action is liable to prosecution. The importation into Gibraltar of these dogs is now prohibited. An exemption will be granted to genuine family pets where the owner can show that this type of dog is well looked after, properly trained, and poses no danger to the public or other dogs.
Application for exemption forms may be collected at the offices of the Environmental Agency, 37 Town Range. Before an application for an exemption is considered the following has to be submitted by the applicant: 1. Evidence as to his suitability as the custodian of the dog (e.g. a Good Conduct Certificate issued by the Royal Gibraltar Police). 2. A Certificate from a Veterinary Surgeon as to the nature of the dog. 3. Copy of the current licence of the dog issued under the Animals Birds Rules. If after considering the application the Commissioner of Police authorises the grant of an exemption certificate, such certificate will only be granted on proof that:-
a. The dog is covered by insurance in respect of damage or injury caused by the dog to a third party;
b. The dog has had an identification microchip inserted; and
c. The dog has been neutered. A certificate of exemption, if granted, is renewable on application to the Commissioner of Police on a yearly basis.
The fee for the issuing of a certificate of exemption is £50 for the first year and £25 thereafter.
Commenting on the new measures the Minister for the Environment stated: "The listing of the 'American Bulldog' within the current listing of Dangerous Dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act 2003, follows representation from various bodies with an interest in public safety. It is for this reason that the legislation is purposely kept flexible, in order to allow future breeds that have the potential to cause significant harm to other animals or humans to be so listed."