Legality of the Danish Dog Act
Question for written answer E-011162-13
to the Commission
Anna Rosbach (ECR)
In Denmark it is prohibited by law to keep 13 specific breeds of dog, and in the event of doubt the principle of the reverse burden of proof is applied, meaning that the onus is on the person to prove that a dog does not belong to one of the 13 prohibited breeds.
In addition, if a dog ‘savages’ another animal or a person, it is the police chief constable who is to demand that the dog be destroyed, without ensuring that an expert has assessed the bite and the circumstances surrounding it.
— Is the Commission familiar with the Danish Dog Act?
— What is its position with regard to the fact that, under this Act, dogs that it is legal to own, buy and sell in other EU Member States are prohibited in Denmark? Is this a violation of the free movement of goods?
— What is the Commission’s view of the fact that this Act may mean that EU citizens from one country in which these dogs are permitted cannot cross Denmark en route to another EU Member State in which these dogs are also permitted?
— Is it in line with the EU requirements relating to Member States’ legal systems for Denmark to require the application of the reverse burden of proof, such that it is the owner who must prove that a dog does not belong to a prohibited breed?
— Does the Commission consider the contested Danish Dog Act to be in line with the Union’s animal welfare legislation, in particular the provisions stipulating that dogs can be destroyed on account of their behaviour, but without this behaviour having been assessed by an expert?
— What is its position with regard to the ex-ante selection process in the Member States so as to avoid arbitrariness in the selection of so-called dangerous breeds of dog?
OJ C 208, 03/07/2014