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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 17 July, 2019

Ireland's restricted dog-breed list looks like it's here to stay

The government says it has no plans to change the laws.

Rottweilers are on the restricted dog-breed list.
Rottweilers are on the restricted dog-breed list.
Image: Shutterstock/BidaOleksandr

THE GOVERNMENT HAS said it has no plans to change laws that restrict ownership of certain breeds of dogs, despite a recent study suggesting they are not helpful.

The Department of Rural and Community Development has said that it is “satisfied with the current restrictions” as they stand at present.

The current laws impose restrictions on 11 different breeds of dog, including pitbulls, alsatians, rottweilers and dobermann pinschers.

Included in the restrictions are that the animals be muzzled while in public and held on a strong lead by a person above the age of 16.

A recent study published in the Irish Veterinary Journal showed that non-restricted breeds are more likely to bite than breeds that have been targeted.

The study also argues that focusing legislation on specific dog breeds rather than individual dogs and their owners is an outdated way of ensuring public safety.

Academic research on whether restricted dog breeds are inherently more dangerous is also mixed, but a previous FactCheck by determined that on balance they are not more dangerous than non-restricted breeds.

In a response to queries about the effectiveness of Irish legislation, the department said it was happy with the laws as they stand and argues that the “overall thrust” of legislation is designed to put the onus on dog owners “irrespective of breed”.

“The specific control requirements for these restricted breeds are a balanced and workable arrangement which recognises the rights of dog owners, respects animal welfare to the extent possible, while also taking account of the needs of society to be protected from dogs with a significant capability to inflict very serious injury,” a statement read.

“The department is satisfied that the restrictions under the current legislative framework provide the necessary controls for the protection of society and has no plans to amend the legislation in respect of this matter.”

Read: Study suggests it’s time to get rid of Ireland’s restricted dog-breed list >

Read: Post-mortem due on woman (60s) who died after two dogs attacked her >

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Rónán Duffy

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