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City council stands firm on dog ban

DOG owners and animal welfare groups have petitioned Dublin City Council to urgently review their banning of a hot-list of 11 dog breeds from council properties.

Despite this, the council has moved to ban specific breeds of dogs considered dangerous from council flats and houses.

And it says it will not change its mind.

Dog Training Ireland, which was yesterday joined animal welfare groups and owners in a protest on the steps of the council offices on Dublin's Wood Quay, said the move was "misguided" and was taken without consultation.

Many owners of dogs including German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Doberman Pinschers, fear they may have to get rid of their pets.

Animal welfare group Anvil (Animals Need a Voice in Legislation) Ireland touted this as "discrimination" against those living in council accommodation.

Yesterday, the group began a move to ensure dogs were not needlessly destroyed. urged people to write to Environment Minister John Gormley to turn down a countrywide ban.

The Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) said providing a microchipping and owner tracing service would be a better solution than an outright ban.

"We believe this is an infringement of civil liberties.

"It is a blanket-wide ban so it encompasses dogs who are not aggressive," said Lisa Whelan, director of Dog Training Ireland.

As of last night, Dublin City Council will prosecute and convict people who do not give up their dogs, she said. Ms Whelan said it meant the dogs must be euthanised because with animal pounds straining at the seams, re-homing was not an option.

James Kearney, Cabra, Dublin, who brought his white German Shepherd 'Shane', to the protest said he could not understand how anyone would legislate against the "intelligent" breed.

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Paul Bannion, Artane, Dublin, said he was worried about losing "family member" five-year-old German Shepherd 'Chloe'.

He said: "She is a member of the family. She is a thoroughbred. She is registered with the Kennel Club, and microchipped.

"I have liability insurance on her up to €1.2m.

"She is walked always muzzled, always on the lead, and has never caused any trouble."

Dublin City Council said the ban stood and it would not meet protest groups.

Banned dogs: American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, English Pit Bull Terrier, Bull Mastiff, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Japanese Akita, Japanese Tosa and cross-breeds.

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