Belgian Dogs and Owners Could Have “Criminal Record” If They Misbehave

Imagine someone actually keeping a record on bad owners? What will they think of next? This article ran on IOL. Bad dogs face rap on...

Joy  |  Nov 30th 2006


Imagine someone actually keeping a record on bad owners? What will they think of next?

This article ran on IOL.

Bad dogs face rap on paws

Misbehaving dogs in Belgium could find themselves with a “criminal record” under a new parliamentary proposal, with offenders facing anything from a rap on the paws to the death penalty, according to a newspaper report on Sunday.



Under the proposal, adopted by the Senate upper house’s social affairs committee, dogs and their owners would both come under scrutiny, with anyone who has served a six-month sentence for a violent crime banned from owning a dog.

If a dog bites anyone, as happens about 100 000 times a year in Belgium, a local official could sentence the canine offender to anything from a reprimand to the death sentence from the local burgomeister.

The culprit could even be seized from his kennel without even the need for a search warrant. “Our goal is to prevent accidents, without targeting any particular breed,” Senator Jean-Marie Cheffert told Le Soir daily.

Under the scheme canine criminal records would be kept to allow animals and masters to be traced and re-offenders will be sternly dealt with.

The senators’ proposals remain a long way from becoming law and Belgium’s Social Affairs Minister Rudy Demotte is unenthusiastic, according to the paper, preferring to focus on prevention rather than punishment.

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