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German States Agree on Attack Dogs

June 28, 2000

BERLIN (AP) _ Responding to a public outcry following two dogs’ brutal mauling of a 6-year-old boy, Germany’s 16 states agreed Wednesday to introduce nationwide measures against attack dogs, including a ban on breeding and importing them.

``The measures decided upon amount to a ban on attack dogs,″ North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Fritz Behrens said after a telephone conference call with other state ministers and federal Interior Minister Otto Schily.

The proposed measures also include a license for owners of attack dogs and requirements that the animals be muzzled and kept on a leash in public places.

Behrens said the individual states would prepare measures to ban breeding the dogs ``without delay,″ while the federal government would create the legal groundwork to prevent their import and to ``strongly″ punish offenders. He also called on local governments to more strictly enforce leash and muzzle rules.

The new measures would apply to breeds such as pit bulls and terriers, but could also include other breeds or crossbreeds that might be dangerous.

The federal and state interior ministers discussed curtailing ownership and breeding of attack dogs at their last conference in May and decided to leave it up to each state to decide what action to take.

But demands for action mounted after two attack dogs killed a 6-year-old boy in Hamburg on Monday and injured several others. Attack dogs also bit a man in the face in Cologne on Monday night and bit a woman in the leg as she jogged in Hamburg on Tuesday.

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