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Dog activists muzzle council breeds ban plan
By Anne-Marie Walsh
Tuesday July 24 2007

THE implementation of a ban on 11 dog breeds in Dublin City Council homes has been stalled.

After strong opposition from dog owners and activists, the council 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 Kennel Club.

Last night, the council said it did not favour dogs being put down and would "consider the situation" in certain circumstances.

A spokeswoman 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."

The ban has been vigorously opposed by animal activists and pet owners since it was introduced in July. It applies to all tenancy agreements.

It bans 11 breeds: three varieties of pitbull, the Bull Mastiff, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd or Alsatian, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Japanese Akita, Japanese Tosa and Bandog, or crosses of these with other dogs.

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.

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.

- Anne-Marie Walsh

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/dog-activists-muzzle-council-breeds-ban-plan-1043119.html

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