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Following the Curtis affair, Loïc Dombreval calls for a reform of the law on dangerous dogs

Each year in France, there are approximately 500,000 dog bites, a figure that is both imposing and worrying. However, categorized or “dangerous” dogs would not be the cause. Following the Curtis affair, the deputy Loïc Dombreval calls for reforming the law of categorized dogs, and this for better prevention of dog bites.

New DNA analyzes have just confirmed that Elisa Pilarski, a 29-year-old young woman, died of bites inflicted by her companion’s dog, Curtis, an American Pitbull Terrier, while she was walking him alone on November 16, 2019 in the forest of Retz, near Villers-Cotterêts.

This sad story highlights the importance of dog bite prevention measures for all breeds combined, and the important limits of the so-called “dangerous dog” law, which categorizes certain breeds of dogs according to their supposed dangerousness, as well as their tendency to bite. Because according to the American Staffordshire terrier breed club, only 5% of dog bites come from categorized dogs!

In this more than delicate context, the deputy Loïc Dombreval sent a letter to the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin to ask him to reform the law of categorized dogs.

>>> Dangerous dogs: should we put an end to the law on categorized dogs?

What is the law of categorized or “dangerous” dogs?

Since 1999, the “dangerous” dog law has categorized certain breeds of dogs, presuming them to be biters.

Thus, it is forbidden to acquire, sell or give category 1 dogs (American Staffordshire terrier, Mastiff (Boerbulls) and Tosa, all not registered in the LOF – Book of French Origins) in France.

Category 2 dogs (American Staffordshire terrier, Tosa, Rottweiler (all registered in the LOF) and non-LOF dogs comparable to the Rottweiler) are authorized provided that the future owner undergoes training and obtains a detention permit. The dog must undergo a behavioral evaluation, and wear a leash and muzzle in all public places. (More info on service-public.fr).

An ineffective and unjust law?

If this law aims to protect humans from bites, it unfortunately seems ineffective. This is what the deputy Loïc Dombreval advances in his letter to the Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin.

On July 28, 2020, the deputy tabled Bill No. 3265 in the National Assembly, which includes the reform of the 1999 law known as “dangerous dogs”, and the establishment of a mandatory behavioral assessment of all dogs of all breeds at the age of one year, with the aim of avoiding bites.

Today, while the general public hears again about dangerous dog breeds with the Curtis affair, Mr. Dombreval recalls that the measures planned for the prevention of dog bites have not been put in place.

According to the deputy, a report was to take stock every three years of the implementation of all the legislative and regulatory provisions relating to dangerous dogs, but was never published.

Similarly, a national canine behavior observatory has not been created, and while a report on the results of dog behavior assessments was to be published every year since 2011, this was not the case until 2014. .

Following the Curtis affair, Loïc Dombreval calls for a reform of the law on dangerous dogs

The MP, who led a 6-month government mission on the protection of companion animals, is today asking for the revision of the 1999 law on dangerous dogs. Mr. Dombreval suggests taking action to reduce dog bites in other ways, by:

  • “Scientifically calibrating the behavioral assessment of dogs and writing a guide to good practice,
  • Making this systematic behavioral evaluation at one year of all dogs mandatory,
  • Replacing subjective categorization of dangerous dogs based on racial criteria with categorization based on behavioral assessment results,
  • Recording the results of these evaluations on the file of a national canine bite observatory and carrying out a follow-up.
  • By also allowing victims assisted by doctors and/or veterinarians to be able to declare bites, in addition to the obligation imposed on the owners of the dogs concerned, an obligation that is not very respected. »

For the well-being of categorized dogs and their owners, and to avoid future accidents, let’s hope this call is heard!

Read also: MP Loïc Dombreval calls for veterinarians to be integrated into the COVID-19 Scientific Council

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