Pete’s letter to the Irish Times on muzzling dogs in public places

German Shepherd dogs

The topic of legislation on muzzling dogs of “restricted breeds” was mentioned in an article in the Irish Times on Monday.  Although I agree that the current rules are unfair, and should be replaced along the “deed not breed” principle, I felt that Monday’s article was biased and did not present an accurate portrayal of the arguments on both sides.

I wrote a letter to the Irish Times expressing my views, and it was published today: you can read it by clicking here.

Restricted Breeds

The Control of Dogs Regulations 1998 impose additional rules in relation to the following breeds (and strains/cross-breeds) of dog:

  • American pit bull terrier
  • English bull terrier
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Bull mastiff
  • Dobermann pinscher
  • German shepherd (Alsatian)
  • Rhodesian ridgeback
  • Rottweiler
  • Japanese akita
  • Japanese tosa
  • Bandog

The rules state that these dogs (or strains and crosses of them) must:The rules state that these dogs (or strains and crosses of them) must:

  1. Be kept on a short strong lead by a person over 16 years who is capable of controlling them
  2. Be muzzled whenever they are in a public place
  3. Wear a collar bearing the name and address of their owner at all times.

The rules on muzzling and leashing do not apply to dogs used by the Gardaí, the Dublin Harbour Police, State Airport Police and bona fide rescue teams in rescue operations. The rules on muzzling do not apply to guide dogs for the blind.

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