To whom it may concern


On June 26th, 2000 a six year old boy was killed by two Pitbull type dogs of a criminal owner in Hamburg. This tragedy caused the German politicians to draw up regulations in order to prevent the public from lethal incidents of this kind in the future. Consequently, the federal government as well as nearly all German states introduced bans on certain breeds. 

 In our opinion - and in the one of ten thousands fellow Europeans -   this was absolutely the worst thing to do, since the then introduced regulations have not been appropriate at all. On the contrary, the problem has even increased, as many innocent dogs and their keepers are being discriminated. Instigated by the boulevard media, a polarisation has made its appearance among the citizens. Speaking in rough outlines, on the one hand there are dog lovers, on the other hand there are dog haters. This polarisation mainly is rooted in the extremely simplified and often disgusting coverage of tabloid media, which also coined the biased term “fighting dog breeds”. Only bad news is good news! Especially non-German breeds such as Staffordshire Bullterriers or American Staffordshires are legally discriminated as “dangerous”.

 Not long after the German bans the hysteria on the so-called “fighting dogs” swept over to neighbouring Austria as well as to other countries, even overseas (Canada). Fortunately, the governments of these countries have not followed the German example, yet.


EU-commissioner David Byrne wrote an official letter to the German government in which he asked for a solid scientific evidence concerning the ban on certain breeds (according to Art. 28-30 EC Treaty). He emphasised the need to “endeavour not to adopt measures that would exceed what is strictly necessary to cope with the actual threat caused by these dogs.”, which implies that any ban imposed must be based on “irrefutable evidence of a real rather than imagined threat to the German public.


As far as we know, Germany has not presented this scientific evidence till now – and very likely will not be able to do so in the future. Therefore, our organisation will continue to raise public awareness against breed specific legislation.


In the meantime, for reasons of equal treatment before the law  two German courts in the states Schleswig-Holstein and Niedersachsen declared the “Landeshundeverordnungen” (i.e. breed specific legislations of the states) for partly unlawful.


On behalf of animals which cannot speak for themselves, CANIS International kindly asks you to make the subject of breed specific legislation a diplomatic issue. Please, ask German politicians to drop the ban on certain breeds. Punish the deed, not the breed!


Thank you very much in advance. We are looking forward to hearing from you.


Marion Schönborn

CANIS International