Dublin City Council bans 'dangerous dog breeds'
Eleven breeds of dog, including Rottweilers, Bull Terriers and German Shepherds have been banned from all Dublin City Council properties, including houses, flats and estates, with immediate effect.
The council has said it will give tenants an opportunity to rehouse the animals but if alternative suitable accommodation cannot be found for them they will be destroyed.
The council has taken the step to remove all "dangerous breeds" due to the increasing numbers of complaints from tenants and because of the legal implications associated with an attack taking place on one of its properties. The ban initially applies to council housing and all public areas within council estates.
However, the council plans to amend its bylaws to include public parks in the ban. This would mean that anyone owning a dangerous dog could not walk it in a public park, even if they lived in private housing.
The council has also written to the Minister for the Environment asking him to ban all breeds of fighting dogs nationally. The 11 breeds are not banned for general ownership in Ireland but must be muzzled, kept on a special leash and be under the control of a person over 16 years old.
The breeds are: English Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, German Shepherd (Alsatian), Doberman, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Japanese Akita, Bull Mastiff, Japanese Tosa and Bandog. Cross-breeds of these dogs or crosses of these dogs with any other breed are also banned.
Executive manager of the council's housing department Michael O'Neill said tenants would be asked to remove any banned dogs but if they failed to comply the council would take them away. "Our information on these dogs is that that they can be very aggressive and while they might be family pets, that has to come secondary and would be no defence to us if a child or other vulnerable person was attacked on our property."
Labour councillor Kevin Humphreys said he understood council tenants may feel discriminated against, but he hoped that this was just the first step to banning these breeds nationally.