Dangerous dogs and chips

GOVERNMENT Ministershave released a list of dog breeds that they consider to be potentially dangerous and which will have to be microchipped by July 1. The list consists of the Argentinean Dogue, Pit Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Inu Tosa and other dogs that have been crossed with these breeds.

However, José Ribeiro, from the Portuguese Canine Club, strongly disagrees with the new law, claiming that it is ridiculous. “I don’t believe that dogs are dangerous just because of their breed. All dogs are potentially dangerous. But there are dog owners that abuse their dogs, training them to be vicious,” he commented. Ribeiro is concerned that owners of these newly defined dangerous animals will dump their dogs, “and then they will be a danger to society.”

Hugo Ramos from the Portuguese Rottweiler Club also disagrees with the new legislation. “There is no reason or study to prove that Rottweilers are a threat to society,” he said, stating that their club currently has 40,000 Rottweilers, of which only two have been a threat in the past year. “It’s a ridiculous law which makes no sense at all. Not only that, but it is going to be hard for police officers to keep track of all ‘potentially dangerous dogs’, especially since most don’t know the difference between a Rottweiler and a Doberman.”

Despite these criticisms, owners who fail to obey the new law and are caught, could face a fine of between 500 and 3,750 euros. And not only does the new law state that these dogs must be microchipped. It also states that only people over 16 years of age can walk these potentially dangerous dogs. All dogs on this list must be kept on a leash that does not exceed one metre and are obliged to wear a muzzle.