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Parliament passes law on dangerous dogs

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Parliament passes law on dangerous dogs
17:58 CET+01:00
The Swedish parliament has passed a new law giving police extended powers to crack down on dangerous dogs and their owners.

In extreme cases, police will be authorized to ban people deemed unsuitable from owning dogs.

Over the last year, Swedish authorities have received a total of 2,300 dog-related complaints. Around 65 percent of these concerned attacks by dogs on humans or animals.

Details of the new law were announced on Thursday by Agriculture Minister Eskil Erlandsson, who pointed out that the vast majority of Sweden's 730,000 dogs were exceptionally well-behaved.

"But unfortunately there are some people who are incapable of bringing up their dogs properly, who use dogs as weapons and train them to be dangerous," he said.

Under the new law police will be able to intervene at an early stage to remove dangerous dogs from their owners.

But the biggest change consisted of the news that any owners deemed inappropriate were to be barred from owning dogs in the future.

The ban is being seen as a means of tackling the problems surrounding 'fighting dogs', especially in cases where they are owned by known criminals.

While fighting dogs make up just one percent of all dogs registered in Sweden, ten percent of attacks reported to police involve these breeds.

To ensure that the ban is effective, police are planning to set up a national registered of banned pet owners.

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