Last week, an organization in Denmark called "Fair Dog" released a report detailing some of the failures of the Breed Ban in Denmark.
If you recall, on July 1 of 2010, Denmark banned 13 breds of dogs, including the pit bull terrier, Tosa Inu, American Staffordshire Terrier, Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, American Bulldog, Boerboel, Kangal, 3 breeds of Ovtcharkas, Tornjak and Sarplanina.
In the Fair Dog report, they accumulated dog bite numbers for the 12 months prior to the ban and for the 12 months post the ban -- by accumulating data from veterinary offices, the internet and police numbers. While they acknowledge the data is more of a collection of facts than truly statistical, the numbers do give some insight into the failings of the National Breed Ban.
The report focuses on 464 bite episodes from every region of the country, and even breaks down the bites from dog vs human, dog vs dog, dog vs other animal and fatal attack.
Based on their data, the number of dog bites on humans went from 67 in the 12 months prior to the ban to 107 in the 12 months after the ban (a 60% increase), dog bites on other dogs from 75 to 117 (a 56% increase), dog bites on other animals 21 to 24 (14% increase) and fatal attacks from 23 to 30 (30% increase)*. Total dog bites went from 186 to 278 -- a 49% increase.
*The study doesn't specifically mention what constitutes a 'fatality' -- my assumption is that a fatality includes human and other animal deaths and not just human deaths -- as 30 human fatalities in a country of just over 5 million people would be a ridiculously high number -- as 30 is a high number of fatalities per year in the U.S. where we have a population of over 300 million people.
Of the bite incidents, 6.5% of all bites in the 12 months prior to the ban were from the banned breeds, this number dropped to 4.3% in the 12 months after the ban as bites from non-banned breeds increased.
The top biting dogs have changed little from before the ban vs after. Post the ban, the top biting dogs are Schaefer (German Shepherds -- who were #1 before the ban), Rottweilers and Bladinghundes (which is the Danish term for mixed breeds).
The Danish Government has responded to the poor first year of the ban, not by acknowledging the failure of targeting breeds vs targeting careless owners, but by discussion adding another 12 breeds to the banned list.
That too, will fail.
The problem with dogs is not dogs. It is with people. And laws that continue to focus on dogs and not on the owners are destined to fail because they are targeting the wrong end of the leash. This has been true throughout the world -- and study after study proves it.
Focusing on responsible dog ownership is the solution, not targeting dogs based on their shape.
You can read the entire report here (much of it is in Danish but Google Translate can help you muddle through it). Some pieces are in English.
H/T to Kenzo the Hovawart -- who has more there and has been doing a great job of covering the news in Denmark.
Stubby Dog also has more on the story.