Dutch Agriculture Minister scraps pit bull ban

11th June 2008, Comments 20 comments

The 1993 ban on owning pit bull terriers was imposed after three children were bitten to death by the dogs.

11 June 2008

THE NETHERLANDS - Dutch Agriculture Minister Gerda Verburg has announced she will scrap the ban on owning and breeding pit bull terriers and related breeds.

The ban was introduced in 1993 after three children were bitten to death by pit bull terriers. The ban allowed police to seize dogs and have them put down purely on the basis of their appearance.

The minister has decided to scrap the ban because it has not led to a reduction in the number of biting incidents.

Verburg wants to introduce a new measure in which dogs are judged by their behaviour rather than breed. She also wants to increase the information provided to dog owners.  

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

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20 Comments To This Article

  • Heath posted:

    on 9th September 2011, 23:29:49 - Reply

    I have a 5y/o blue pit that I rescued from fighting. He was only 8months old when I got him. He's never hurt anyone and loves kids and any other animals....even cats. He's 95lbs and the best dog I've ever had. Anyone who says "pits are bad", etc is a BLITHERING IDIOT! If you say that you shouldn't allow pits since there is a chance they can hurt someone, then maybe we should also outlaw body builders since they can hurt others more easily //rolleyes
  • Bruce Leeroy posted:

    on 18th December 2010, 16:45:22 - Reply

    so Gerry believes pitbulls were bred to attack children? Turn off the TV for a minute Gerry you are making claims with no basis in reality.
  • Owner of two pit bulls (USA) posted:

    on 9th June 2010, 18:07:34 - Reply

    The worst experiences I've had with dogs have been with Akitas, Shar-Pei, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds. These dogs have tried to attack my dogs (on-leash)
  • Michael posted:

    on 27th May 2010, 01:57:19 - Reply

    Come on guys, most people want pitbulls because of their aggressive nature not because they are "cute" or cuddly. Difference between a smaller breed dog and that pit is that the pit will lock its jaws on your neck and not let go you have little chance to get away. My aunt was mauled by a pit and bit off a chunk of her shoulder. She lost mobility of her shoulder, and got no compensation for her pain and suffering. Owner got a slap on the wrist because the law sucks and owner was some dead beat with no money. So dont give me that crap about unfairness and crap because a chihuahua or a lab wouldnt rip a chunk out of your shoulder. If you want a pit they should mandate liability insurance incase the dog injuries , maimes or kills someone. Owner should also serve some jail time if they knowingly allow dog off leash or fail to control their animal.
  • Pit lover posted:

    on 19th May 2010, 18:22:04 - Reply

    GERRY, you are an idiot "Pit Bulls are bread for their behaviour which includes attacking children " NO ONE is breeding a dog to attack children!
    The Netherlands recently scrapped it's ban on pitbulls, one of the first, the American temperment test society ATTS.org will give people the REAL facts on Pitbull behaviour
  • NYCk9Rescuer posted:

    on 13th March 2010, 07:33:36 - Reply

    Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (http://atts.org/)
    Passing rate for the American Pit Bull Terrier: 85.3%
    Passing rate for the Golden Retriever: 84.6%
    Passing rate for the Collie: 79.4%
    Passing rate for the Beagle: 81.0%

    The fact of the matter is that the APBT was never bred to be human aggressive. Even when bred for dog fighting at its origin, the dogs had to be tolerant of humans separating the dogs mid-fight and deal with a "referee" in the pit alongside the dogs, often times right near their faces. Any dogs showing human aggression were culled. In their native England, they were often called the "nanny dog" because of their tolerance and affection toward children. Their high pain threshold made typical child "rough-housing" more than tolerable for the breed, so kids grabbing their ears or tail didn't agitate them.

    Yes, terrier type dogs can have more of a tendency to be animal aggressive (Parson's Russel Terriers bred to be ratters, included), but with the proper, responsible handling of any of these breeds, they can be sociable with animals as well. Animal aggression and human aggression are two entirely different issues.

    Any dog that has teeth can bite. In 2001, a child in the U.S. was killed by a Pomeranian. Not a single legislator proposed legislation against that breed. Yet, just a few years later, a woman was killed by 2 Presa Canarios and a pit bull ban was introduced and passed in the municipality within weeks (they are *not* the same breed).

    Many pit bulls and pit bull mixes live peaceably and as productive members of societies (http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/pospress.html). Sadly, it is *only* when there is a negative incident do they make headlines. In fact, many times dogs are labeled pit bulls only *after* an aggressive incident transpires, when over a dozen different breeds are commonly mistaken for the APBT (http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit.html).

    In the 1960, the Doberman was called a "baby killer." In the 1970s, the German Shepherd was "inherently aggressive." In the 1980s, it was the Rottweiler that was "a ticking time bomb." And from the 1990s on, it has been the APBT that has had to deal with the same bad reputation. The breeds change. The only constant is irresponsible ownership.

    The *only* thing that will keep "dangerous dogs" from being a societal problem is *mandating responsible ownership for all breeds.* For those that believe that only ignorant thugs who look to the breed for a status symbol own these dogs, my warning to you is to stereotype at your own risk. When you point a finger at someone else, you are pointing three back at yourself.

    Even if the entire breed was eradicated, the root of the problem (irresponsible ownership) would not be solved. Those seeking a dog for a status symbol will find another powerful breed to manipulate into doing their malicious bidding.

    Cigarettes, alcohol, automobiles, handguns, STDs, et al. kill far more people than pit bulls do. And, yet, it is the dogs that are blamed for human error. It is completely illogical. Do you blame the car itself for driver error that results in a fatal collision? Do you blame the gun for murder when it needs a human to operate it?

    It is almost laughable that some people can be so overly simplistic when dealing with aggressive dog incidents, blaming an arbitrary breed rather than circumstance and poor handling. As someone who was attacked by a Doberman as a child, I know that it has nothing to do with the breed but the owner behind the dog. My own dog was brutally attacked by a Golden Retriever, so viscously its owner had to kick his dog in the head over a dozen times to remove his dog. My dog needed immediate veterinary attention as a result. But you won't catch me bashing that breed. Why? Because dogs have been bred for hundreds of years to look to humans for guidance and boundaries. Their behavior is dependent upon our own.
  • Bralle posted:

    on 16th December 2009, 08:55:55 - Reply

    There is alot of stupid people posting here, like everywhere else.
    "the pitbull kill kids"
    "why should people be allowed to have these dogs?"
    "pitbulls where bred to fight, including kill kids"

    Seriously? you should read up on shit, before you start spewing out BS you dont know shit about !

    The am.pitbull.terrier was bred to fight, OTHER DOGS ! so its "by nature(not nature, WE as humans bred it that way)more aggressive towards dogs". but they dont have to be, socialising a dog, no matter the breed is key to a dog behaving. Pack mentality, learn the dog whos boss.

    Why do you think that the am.pitbull.terrier is the only weapon a moron can get theyr hands on ? If you havent noticed, ALL dogs have teeth, they can all kill you and your kids, if some guy wants it to do this.
    You need to open your eyes, its not the dog, its the owner.
    If the owner gets an am.pitbull.terrier and the dog does something against other dogs (which is not unnatural for pack animals), or hurts kids, which is very bad. You blame the dog.
    If the same situation happens with a dog that everyone owns, type chiuhaua, chowchow, pomerian etc. You dont react in same way.
    Be a good dog friend, and punch the owner in the face. Its THEYR responsebility, not the dog... the dog wont be "a monster" if the owner dont let it be. its very simple.
    Just like you have idiots on the roads, driving for example a Nissan primera, they drive unsafe, hurts others. Who gets the blame ? driver or car ?
    If we gonna follow the "logic" of dog banning, we should ban the car, no ? and let the human go free.

    ALL IN ALL !
    There should be a license for ANY dog, no matter breed or size.
    Most people shouldnt be allowed to have dogs. period.
    If a pomerian barks and acts aggressive, its cute in most peoples eyes.
    If a am.pitbull.terrier does the same, its EVIL DEVIL KILLER MACHINE.

    and pomerians have killed kids, even tho they are tiny..

    OPEN YOUR EYES ! no dog is bad, its the OWNERS !

    // PROUD owner of an american staffordshire terrier, and a CAT !
  • KING posted:

    on 2nd June 2009, 18:10:49 - Reply

    first of all half the people trying to give their 2 cents dont know shit about what they're talking about and are just trying to sound smart. common sence is an idiot what does he mean the type that get pitbulls? what type of people is that?? i can tell you've probably never even seen a real pitbull just on your tvs an what the media shows and you think that makes you smart.
  • Dutchess posted:

    on 2nd July 2008, 16:23:14 - Reply

    I dont even know what to say about Gerry.

    We bred pits and AKC staffs for over 20 years had red AND black noses, all colors and all bloodlines during that time AND raised 6 kids who , belive it or not Gerry, are all still alive . No bites,, not one . We even had an old female we adopted after fighting in Oklahoma most of her life ,face half torn off,, and the only thing she ever did wrong was steal the barn cats kittens to raise herself. We were constantly putting kittens back where they belonged. When I married my Dutchie , he was TERRIFIED of them because of all the "Things he had heard " , but had a Bordeaux that would attack anything including children but that was OK because it wasnt a pit..jeez.I recently gifted him with a new pit female here in America.NOW he knows what they are like and wouldnt ever have a different breed....PS.. her best friends are another herd of barn kittens.

    And the above poster is right ,, there was a golden retriever here that FINALLY was euthanized due to 5 different attacks on people, they gave the owner many chances????? ridiculous One chance should be the only chance no matter the breed
  • J.T. posted:

    on 25th June 2008, 09:15:22 - Reply

    I fully agree with BH, and he especially highlights one very significant fact that pro-BSL people seem eager to overlook: the unequal treatment of dog attack victims and potential victims.

    The vast majority of people are bitten by non-pit-bull-type dogs; why aren't they being protected by the law?

    BSL basically says "If you are bitten by a pit bull, we feel sorry for you and we want to help you. The rest of you lot can suck it." The media does the same thing, making a circus over pit bull bites and pit bull victims, yet turning a deaf ear to the pleas of people being threatened and bitten by non-pit-bull type dogs. It's pretty pathetic when society judges your worth based on the appearance of the dog that threatens you.

    Death by dog is death by dog, and being killed by a pit bull is no more or less horrible than being killed by a Cocker Spaniel, a Lab, or any other type of dog. In the U.S., a little girl was killed by Alaskan Malamutes and we barely heard a peep--one quick story in the local papers--but not long afterwards, a boy was killed by pit bulls (mistreated, mishandled, intact pit bulls already known to be biters) and the whole country heard about it for months on end. Every bloody second of the attack and discovery was played out in the paper over and over--and folks started screaming for a ban almost immediately. Meanwhile, everyone forgot (or never even knew) about the little girl's death, and no lessons were taken from it at all. Talk about injustice. That little girl is probably rolling over in her grave.

    Victims deserve equal treatment and equal recourses. The public deserves safety across the board; it shouldn't favor a handful of fearful, selfish people who only care about their own dog problems and have no concern for anyone else.
  • B.H posted:

    on 23rd June 2008, 16:46:48 - Reply

    Pit Bull conversations usually take place between people that have owned or known a real Pit Bull Terrier, and between people that get their information from newspapers or from so and so down the road, who spoke with so and so a few weeks back, and who is basically playing a game of Chinese Whispers. It's good to see a politician with their thinking cap on for a change. We also need tougher dog ownership rules and to take a closer look at the people that prove they can not own dogs responsibly.

    "How do these people get into these positions of power!"

    I would be more concerned with people that are willing to play off the Pit Bull's negative reputation, manipulate facts, tell bold faced lies to the public, in order to secure your vote, such as Ontario's Michael Bryant who did this.

    "Idiot, Pit Bulls are bread for their behaviour which includes attacking children given half a chance and a little encouragement from their blood thirsty owners, Oh look at me I'm hard."

    Helen Keller, the kids from the Little Rascals, Fred Astaire, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Fatty Arbuckle, Michael J Fox etc have all owned Pit Bull Terriers. Do you think Helen Keller was trying to look all gansta? You seem to think you know how Pit Bull Terriers are "bred". Please tell us the books you've read that support your comments. And yes, I said books, not newspapers.

    "Yes 3 and even more in GB"

    The ban on Pit Bull Terriers in the UK was made so that there would be no one killed by Pit Bull Terriers in the UK. It looks to me like what the United Kingdom's laws say is when somebody is killed by another breed of dog, then that death is somehow less important than somebody that died from a "Pit Bull".

    "A WEAPON!"

    Good one, never heard that before.

    "Everybody knows the type that get pitbulls,comeon,there not the most intellegent of the society,there the morons who want one to toughen up there image ,infact they are cowards who feel safer with one,idiots"

    Before labelling other people cowards and idiots for some reason that exists only in your head, and unless English is your second language, I suggest you not throw stones in glass houses. I'm willing to bet most Pit Bull enthusiasts can at least manage to spell words like "their" and "intelligent" which you can not.

    "here are exceptions to every rule and to generalize is not as unwise or unjust as showing total naivety. I'm afraid Common Sense is correct in his assessment of the average Pit Bull owner."

    And? The Pit Bull has become a fashion item, you can't blame the dogs for that. If you put that same dog in the hands as the typical Golden Retriever is in, or the same hands that Pit Bulls used to be in prior to the 1980s before they were a fashion item for street thugs and idiots then we wouldn't be having this discussion - period. Stop blaming dogs for a human problem.

  • Gerry posted:

    on 20th June 2008, 12:52:47 - Reply

    There are exceptions to every rule and to generalize is not as unwise or unjust as showing total naivety. I'm afraid Common Sense is correct in his assessment of the average Pit Bull owner. Harold Shipman was a Doctor too, you have just sterotyped doctors as responsible dog owners and therefor contradicted yourself. I do however agree with your generalization regarding their suitability as pet owners.
  • Jay posted:

    on 18th June 2008, 05:12:48 - Reply

    Have any of you ever owned a pit bull or a pit mix? If so, then you would not be making the condescending comments listed above. My wife (a doctor) and I adopted a stray pit-bull from the local pound and he is a fantastic dog. Our dog has been through 2 classes and ranked #1 (of 12) in his class for obedience. The criminal justice system is based upon case by case evidence, not broad swaths of conjecture or half-truths. To generalize owners, breeds, or any population is unwise and unjust.
  • common sense posted:

    on 16th June 2008, 16:23:48 - Reply

    Thers no such thing as a bad dog just bad owners",,,,,well,duh?but why give these bad owners the chance to own,A WEAPON!Everybody knows the type that get pitbulls,comeon,there not the most intellegent of the society,there the morons who want one to toughen up there image ,infact they are cowards who feel safer with one,idiots
  • common sense posted:

    on 16th June 2008, 16:19:05 - Reply

    now whats it going to take 10 children to die before the law is reinstated,,,she obviously does not have children and if she does,shame on her,,,idiot
  • Gerry posted:

    on 12th June 2008, 12:25:56 - Reply

    And yes they probably do account for a low proportion of dog bites, check again for fatalities and not just a nip on the hand.
    "after three children were bitten to death by pit bull terriers." Yes 3 and even more in GB.
  • Gerry posted:

    on 12th June 2008, 12:10:45 - Reply

    Pit Bulls are bred for dog fighting. Why? because poodles will not tear each other apart as readily. If we had to depend on the responsible nature of the owner I'm afraid the number of biting incidents would increase, why take a chance with children.
    Sorry Denise "bred not bread" and a knocking shop is a brothel. The Pit Bull, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Labrador cross has a genetic disposition to attack and that's why they are different from other breeds.
  • Murr posted:

    on 12th June 2008, 08:16:59 - Reply

    There's no such thing as a bad dog. There are only bad dog owners. And anyone who would choose to own a pitbull is a total dork, they are not necessarily aggressive dogs - depends on the owner - but oh la la, they redefine the word stupid.
  • denise lebeau posted:

    on 11th June 2008, 21:27:01 - Reply

    Gerry is obviously not knowledgeable about dog behavior nor the English language. Pit bulls account for a very low percentage of bites in the US where the CDC tracks this information. Unfortunately, there is so much media attention given to any incident involving pit bulls that it can seem like pit bulls are accountable for more than they are actually guilty of. What makes any dog aggressive is what should be addressed when looking to make your community safer: anti-tethering, rigorous spay/neuter, and strong anti-cruelty laws can help ensure that every member of your community as safe as possible.
  • Gerry posted:

    on 11th June 2008, 20:18:17 - Reply

    "dogs are judged by their behaviour rather than breed." Does she propose some kind of test before the biting incident occurs?
    Idiot, Pit Bulls are bread for their behaviour which includes attacking children given half a chance and a little encouragement from their blood thirsty owners, Oh look at me I'm hard.
    Enforcement is what is needed here, Oh that's right the Police Dog Squad are all stoned and down the knocking shop. There is simply no need for the poor cross bred pit bull. How do these people get into these positions of power!