news - 13/05/2013 Hot News: Breeders Liability extended! - Belgium
by Karl DonvilBelgium considers to extend the liability to the breeders for aggressive behavior in dogs.
Minister of health Laurette Onckelinx considers to extend the liability to the breeder is a dog bites someone. In that case Belgium will be the first country to have such a law. Breeders will risk losing their permit to sell dogs and that is good. Socializing programs will become common that way and puppy farms will not have the possibility to socialize their puppies and probably close down their lucrative business. The international trade and import of dogs, mostly from obscure breeders in other European countries, will probably experience a serious setback. It will become very difficult to escape from this responsibility as one can be prosecuted years after the selling of the puppy.
However one can ask if the breeder is responsible for the bad behavior of a dog. Hundreds and thousands of factors influence a dogs behavior and we all know that a dog’s character can always change, even after many years. This has nothing to do with the raising of puppies. Of course it is of utmost importance that puppies are socialized before AND after 12 weeks of age. But isn’t it also time to introduce a license for responsible dog-ownership alike a driver’s license? It would be best to introduce this at the same time in collaboration with licensed dog-schools.
I also wonder how a judge will be able to determine if the misconduct of the dog is something that origins from its time in the Kennel where he was born, or if it changed later? What about dogs that are mistreated by their owners or their owners’ children? What about dogs rescued from shelters? What about adult dogs brought into Belgium by people who moved in, or Dogs rescued from Spain or other countries?
I’m convinced that it will raise lots of discussions and I have no illusions that dog trade will extinct. The dog mafia will find ways to continue their trade (Belgium is one supposed to be of the European crossroads of this obscure traffic). I also think that the Belgian Government should stipulate what to do with the dog who is found “guilty”? Will all the puppies out of the same litter or even kennel be “possible dangers”? And what will happen to them if one of their littermates misbehaved?
I will come back on this issue if there is more news on this.