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Dangerous dog training courses required by 2013 law to start 'by the end of June 2017'

dogTrainingThe Public Security Police and the GNR are expected to start certifying trainers to train owners of dangerous dog by the end of the second quarter of this year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced today, which offered no apology for the four year delay.

The Public Security Police and the GNR are responsible for the certification and training of these potentially dangerous animals but neither entity has been able to run a course since the new laws came into play in 2013.

A delay in agreement over course fees has been offered as an excuse by the ministry but the reason for continuing delays has not been divulged. 

The so-called ‘dangerous dog’ laws of 2013 were followed by the definition of those police bodies that would certified trainers to run the necessary courses. This took two years

Then, in January 2017, the government got around to agreeing the course fees but the start of the actual training courses, that would enable owners legally to take their dogs outside, seemed as far away as ever.

The GNR explained today that "the start of certification of trainers and the training of keepers of potentially dangerous dogs is expected soon. This date will be announced by the Directorate General of Food and Veterinary Medicine.”

In a clarification late this afternoon, the Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that a technical group had been created that brought together elements of the Punlic Security Police, the GNR and the Directorate General of Food and Veterinary Medicine "to define the technical standards for the certification of trainers and the actual training programme for the owners of dangerous dogs."

According to the ministry, ever keen to shift the blame, this technical group "has recently completed the work," which allows the certification of trainers and the training of the holders,” which everyone involved has been waiting for since 2013.

According to GNR data, attacks by dangerous dogs have claimed 71 victims in the first quarter of this year alone.

In 2016, the GNR registered a total of 235 attacks and 284 casualties due to incidents involving dangerous dogs. The breeds are:

Cão de Fila Brasileiro (Brazilian Mastiff)
Dogue Argentino (Argentine Mastiff)
Pitbull Terrier
Staffordshire Terrier Americano
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Tosa Inu (Japanese Fighting Dog)

These dogs must be kept on a lead and be muzzled when out in public. Their owners have to complete a non-existent course to gain their special license, not have a criminal record and carry civil responsibility insurance with at least €50,000 cover.

Márcio Lourenço, the owner of the Rottweiler that attacked a four-year-old girl in Matosinhos on April 25th, had no way of legally owning his dog as the obligatory training course referred to in the 2013 legislation, does not exist.

Whether Lourenço also will be charged with not having attended a non-existent course, in addition to the other charges he faces, remains to be seen.




0 #3 Campbell 2017-04-30 17:06
In the same vein as Mildred's animal welfare comment - Why does no Portuguese question why the British authorities are apparently seizing and fostering out so many Portuguese infants from their parents in the UK? Is not the root cause the incompatibility of a Portuguese upbringing for a child intending to grow up in the UK? Only the other day a Scottish judge concluding this for a young girl of mixed Scots / Portuguese parentage. That it would disadvantage the lass returning her to Portugal.
+1 #2 Mildred 2017-04-29 11:54
Certainly animal welfare awareness courses are desperately needed in Portugal. The people are decades behind most of the EU and slipping ever further back as the others pull ahead. Start the young Portuguese as early as possible; one obvious suggestion is drastically reduce the hours spent teaching 'Portuguese History'. It is a mill stone round today's Portuguese.

Instead devise post Salazar Modern Citizenry courses. Very few Portuguese today see any problem with lying, cheating and general anti-social behaviour to non-clan members - so this would introduce them to the idea that it is not good to anyone. Animal welfare would be bolted into this awareness of what makes a good citizen. Not realising this substantial missing component of essential citizenry when in Portugal, it is something us developed country northerners suffer from greatly.
+4 #1 charly 2017-04-28 11:47
If Márcio Lourenço waas " well known to Police for aggression and violence", why was he allowed to keep the dog. The police must have seen him out with it.