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Sweden to clamp down on fighting dogs

Published: 13 Mar 2007 13:18 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Mar 2007 13:18 GMT+01:00

After the fatal shooting on Sunday of a pit bull terrier that attacked its owner, Minister for Agriculture Eskil Erlandsson is to propose new legislation to tackle the issue. In Sweden, around 6,000 people per year receive treatment for dog bites, Aftonbladet reports.

"The most important thing the law needs to take up is dogs being used as weapons," said the minister.

Erlandsson added that police should be granted more power to issue bans and impound dogs in order to ensure public safety.

"We intend to put forward a bill before the summer," Erlandsson told Aftonbladet.

The minister, who himself was bitten in the face by a dog when he was young, wants police to be able to take action if a dog goes on the attack.

"Putting an animal down would be a solution to be used as a last resort," said Erlandsson.

While some of the most widely publicized cases have involved fighting dogs, police spokesman Bengt Ericsson is keen to point out that they are not the main culprits.

"Most people are attacked by the most common breeds of dog," he told Aftonbladet.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.se)

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