|Mass Slaughter of Dogs in Germany|
Over 2 years ago, a 6-year old Turkish boy living in Germany was killed by a pit bull. The owner was apparantly raising the dog to be aggressive, and was a known criminal but still allowed to keep it. Germany's response to the incident was to ban the import of pit bulls, american staffordshire terriers, and bullterriers into the country, and allow each German state to create its own laws against the dogs. All dogs are put into one of three categories in Germany:
Category 1: Pittbulls, Amstaffs, all mixes of these breeds
The dogs must wear a muzzle and leash for their entire lives when in public, and are not allowed on trains like other dogs. The pets are sterilized and chipped and criminal records of the owners are checked. Spaying and nuetering is all well and good, but the taxes in Germany for the process have gone up from 180 to 1200 Deuschmarks ($90 - $600). In Hamburg and Brandenburg, if the taxes cannot be paid or if you are simply chosen on a list of owners to be next, your dog is taken from your home and kept in a concentration camp where the animals are put in cages and never allowed out. In Hamburg, over 200 dogs are kept in the Harburg camp, in cages with concrete flooring. Many of the dogs have been in the cages for months and none are ever let out of the cages. These dogs are subjected to a test to see if they are aggressive. The fairness and length of the test depends upon the particular person doing the test, but generally involves another dog being held back from trying to attack the pet or homeless animal, the tester acting as though he will attack the owner, an umbrella being opened up in the dog's face, and so on. If the animal acts aggressively in any way, it is killed. Animals are being killed within the camp now to make room for new dogs, but they are trying to take in less, as they've set themselves up for more than they can handle.
Category 2: Bullterriers
Bullterriers are subjected to the test but do not have to have a muzzle and leash if they pass.
All dogs acting aggressively against a human or animal are put in one of the first two categories no matter what the circumstances.
After working at a no-kill animal shelter for over a year and a half, I can say with full confidence that any animal stuck in a cage for a month and a half without being let out or recieving any human contact will act aggressively under any circumstances. The tests go against the natural instincts of the dogs, and many innocent animals are dying. Die Tierbefreier, translating to "Animal Liberation" of Hamburg, has protesting and worked to slow the mayor from testing the animals and taking them from peoples' homes. However, the owner of the largest local animal shelter has been dumping many of his pit bull amstaffs into the Harburg and condoning the actions of the mayor. I have been in Hamburg for a 10 day hunger strike in mid December of the year 2000 to represent the no-kill movement and try to grab media attention in Hamburg. The mayor seemed to have the media tied up, but we did manage to get some national press and local radio support. Much of my time was spent passing out leaflets and getting citizens to understand our demands so they could write a letter to the mayor. Our demands included:
The mayor did not capitulate with our demands, and has repsonded by saying that owners of these "fighting dogs" keep them for primarily sexual purposes, then went on to praise the petitions signed for the race lists, while ignoring petitions signed against them.
What You Can Do:
Please use this information to write a personal letter to the German Legislative. Say that you have no intention of ever being a tourist in Germany until the race lists are abandoned, and that while in America you will boycott German products. This should be easy unless you planning on buying a Mercedes or Porsche. Mail your letter to:
11011 Berlin, Deutschland
Also, you can e-mail the German Senate! Go to www.hamburg.de, then click on Gastebuch, then click Gastebuch des Hamburger Senats. Your message can be no longer than 3-4 lines in length or it won't be sent.
There are 3 Pit Bull / American Staffordshire Terrier groups in the United States, dedicated to the care, rehabilitation, and finding of loving homes for these breeds of dogs that persecuted for their stereotyped breed. Pit bulls are no more aggressive by nature than other dogs, but their natural physique makes them commonly chosen as fighting animals. The number one biting dog of America is the cocker spaniel, but the cocker spaniel's bite is not particularly damaging or vicious. The number one biting dog of Germany is the German Shephard, which is not placed upon the race lists, while the number five biting dog, the Pit Bull, is on the lists. Pit Bulls can be a loving addition to your family, as can be seen at this link to Spindletop Rescue, the Pit Bull / American Staffordshire Terrier rescue group of Houston, Texas.
Let your voice be heard to your Senator or Representative by clicking here and e-mailing a member of the US Congress. Ask them to take a formal stance against Germany's race lists and aggression tests, and to support their constituents' boycott of visiting Germany and buying German products!
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Click here to view the full story of the hunger strike in Germany!
Also, click on the cat below to view or join the We Are Animal Guardians web ring, containing information on a variety of animal rights/welfare issues. For all pet-lovers and activists, this is a must!