The following is an extract from the current edition of The Portugal News … an English language weekly newspaper. Sadly, I notice that the much maligned ‘Nanny – dog’ the dear old Staffie is included, as in France. Cross breeds are also implicated
” Government (in Portugal) looks to ban seven breeds of ‘dangerous dogs’
According to a recent announcement from the Ministry for Agriculture, the Government is looking to ban the importation and breeding of seven different types of dog, classified as dangerous. Cross-breeding with any of the seven is also to be prohibited, the dramatic law change being due to what Minister Jaime Silva described as a “very serious” recent history of attacks by these so-called ‘dangerous dogs’.
“This law change will go ahead, and I personally would like it signed and implemented as soon as next week. The history of attacks has pushed us to be swift in taking action, as the incidents have had devastating consequences”, he said.
The seven potentially dangerous breeds soon to be banned from entering, being bred or cross-bred in this country are the
Brazilian Fila dog,
At present, in Portugal, some 5,500 dogs considered to be dangerous have been officially registered, with around a further 1,000 identified following an attack or for showing signs of uncontrollable aggression.
More than half of these registered animals are in Lisbon (1,656), the remaining majority being found in Oporto (1,015), and Faro (1,003).
Despite saying that, both as a cabinet minister and as a citizen he is “not a defender of prohibitive measures”, Jaime Silva has stressed that the ‘disrespect for the law shown by a number of owners of dangerous breeds’, spurred the ministry to take immediate action, and not put law changes off for any longer.
Currently in the Ministry for Agriculture’s possession, being deliberated, the proposed decree fully forbids the reproduction, breeding or cross-breeding of the afore-mentioned types of dog, as well as their entry into the country, be it through exterior purchasing, as an offering or an exchange.
An exception is to be opened to dogs registered in the ‘Book of Portuguese Origins’ (LOP), as well as to animals used in the army or for state security.
As a consequence of the impending law, owners of ‘dangerous dogs’ will be obligated to sterilize their animals. If this is not done within a two-month period after the law is implemented, owners may face a fine of between €500 and €45,000.
Control mechanisms will be reinforced, as will awareness campaigns and legal obligations for anyone owning one of these breeds.
A ‘dangerous dog’ is, by official definition, an animal that due to its size or aggressive nature, as well as jaw strength, could cause serious injury or death to people or other animals.
Owners must be over the age of 18, have a special license requested from their local city or village hall (Junta de Freguesia). To obtain this licence the dog must be vaccinated against rabies and have an ID microchip.
Owners must also have insurance for ‘civic responsibilities’ as well as annual criminal record checks.
On the street, the dogs must always wear a muzzle, have a metre-long lead attached to a collar or chest-strap, and be led by an individual over the age of 16.”
I hope this information might help anyone considering taking their pet dog abroad with them on holiday this year. It follows last year’s ruling in France