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State dog law

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On 18 December 2002, the Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia passed the following law:
Dog Law for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (State Dog Law - LHundG NRW)Table of Contents
§ Section 1 Purpose of the Act
§ 2 General obligations
§ 3 Dangerous dogs
§ Article 4 Permission
§ 5 Duties
§ 6 Expertise
§ 7 Reliability
§ 8 Notification and notification obligations
§ 9 Prohibition of breeding, crossing and trade, infertilization
§ 10 Dogs of certain breeds
§ 11 Large dogs
§ 12 Powers to issue orders
§ 13 Competent authorities
§ 14 Recognition of decisions and certificates of other countries
§ Section 15 Validity of the Ordnungsbehördengesetz and municipal regulations
§ 16 Ordinances issued by public authorities
§ Section 17 Exceptions to the scope of application
§ Section 18 Restriction of fundamental rights
§ Section 19 Criminal provision
§ 20 Administrative offences
§ Section 21 Transitional provisions
§ Section 22 Review of the effects of the Act
§ 23 Entry into force, termination§ 1
Purpose of the lawThe purpose of this law is to avert the dangers arising from dogs and the improper handling of dogs by humans and to counteract possible dangers as a precautionary measure.top>/g>§ 2
General obligations

(1) Dogs are to be kept, led and supervised in such a way that they do not pose a risk to the life or health of humans or animals.

(2) Dogs shall be kept on a leash suitable for avoiding danger

  1. in pedestrian zones, main shopping areas and other inner-city areas, streets and squares with comparable public traffic
  2. enclosed parks, gardens and green areas accessible to the public, including children's playgrounds, with the exception of specially designated dog run areas,
  3. at public gatherings, processions, folk festivals and other events involving gatherings of people,
  4. in public buildings, schools and kindergartens.

(3) It is prohibited to breed, cross or train dogs with the aim of increased aggressiveness. This does not apply to holders of a permit in accordance with § 34a of the Gewerbeordnung (German Trade Regulation Act) within the framework of an approved security business.

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§ 3
Dangerous dogs

(1) Dangerous dogs in the sense of this law are dogs whose dangerousness is suspected according to paragraph 2 or has been determined in individual cases according to paragraph 3.

(2) Dangerous dogs are dogs of the breeds Pittbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bullterrier and Bullterrier and their crossbreeds among each other as well as their crossbreeds with other dogs. Crosses as referred to in the first sentence are dogs in which the phenotype of one of the breeds mentioned in that sentence is clearly evident. In cases of doubt, the keeper shall prove that there is no crossing in accordance with sentence 1.

(3) In individual cases dangerous dogs are

  1. Dogs, which, contrary to § 2 paragraph. 3 have been trained, bred or crossed with the aim of increased aggressiveness
  2. Dogs with which a training to the detriment of humans, as a guard dog or on civil sharpness has been started or completed,
  3. Dogs that have bitten a person, unless this was done in defence of a criminal offence,
  4. Dogs that have jumped at a person in danger,
  5. Dogs that have injured another dog by biting it without having been attacked themselves, or that have bitten another dog despite the latter's recognizable species-specific gestures of submission,
  6. Dogs that have been shown to chase, bite or tear game, livestock, cats or other animals in an uncontrolled manner.
  7. The competent authority shall determine the level of risk referred to in the first sentence after an assessment by the official veterinarian.

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§ 4
Permission

(1) Anyone keeping or intending to keep a dangerous dog requires permission from the competent authority. Permission shall be granted only if the person making the application

  1. has reached the age of eighteen,
  2. the required expertise (§ 6) and reliability (§ 7) possesses,
  3. is able to keep the dog safely on the leash and lead it (§ 5 para. 4 sentence 1),
  4. ensures that the premises, facilities and outdoor installations used for training, dressing or holding provide escape-proof and behaviourally appropriate accommodation,
  5. the conclusion of a special liability insurance policy (§ 5 para. 5) and
  6. proves the tamper-proof marking of the dog (paragraph 7)

(2) The permission to keep a dangerous dog as defined in § 3 para. 2 or of § 3 paragraph. Three numbers. 1 and 2 shall only be granted if a particular private interest is demonstrated or if there is a public interest in the continued holding. A special private interest may exist if the keeping of the dangerous dog is essential to guard the owner's endangered property.

(3) Insofar as it is necessary for the examination of the condition according to paragraph 1 No. 4, the person making the application must allow the staff of the competent authority or the official veterinarian access to the pacified property where the dangerous dog is kept or is to be kept and tolerate the necessary findings.

(4) The permit may be granted for a limited period and may be subject to conditions and obligations; it shall be granted subject to revocation. Conditions can also be added, changed or supplemented at a later date.

(5) The permit shall be valid throughout the national territory. In the event of a change of the place of rearing (main residence of the keeper), the authority responsible for the new place of rearing shall have the power to withdraw or revoke the licence and to take measures in accordance with the second sentence of paragraph 4.

(6) When leading dangerous dogs outside of the pacified property, the person leading the dog must carry the permit or a copy of it with him and hand it over to the officials authorized to control the dog on request.

(7) The forgery-proof identification of the dog according to paragraph 1 point 6 is done with an electronically readable tag (microchip), on which a non-speaking number is stored. The competent authority may use the stored number to identify the owner of the dog in the course of its duties under this Act. The competent authority shall transmit the stored number to the authority responsible for the central registration of dogs registered in accordance with this Act.

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§ 5
Duties

(1) Within a pacified property, dangerous dogs must be kept in such a way that they cannot leave the property against the will of the owner.

(2) Outside of a pacified property as well as in corridors, elevators, staircases and on access roads to apartment buildings, dangerous dogs must be kept on a leash suitable for avoiding danger. This does not apply within specially designated dog run areas. Dangerous dogs must be muzzled to prevent them from biting, or a device with an equivalent effect. Sentence 3 does not apply to dogs until the completion of the sixth month of life.

(3) The competent authority can apply for dangerous dogs in the sense of § 3 para. 2 shall grant an exemption from the obligation under paragraph 2, first and third sentences, upon request if the keeper proves that there is no reason to fear a threat to public safety. In the case of the measures set out in § 11 para. 6 and § 2 para. 2, an exemption from the obligation to keep on board cannot be granted. Proof must be provided by a behavioural test at an authority responsible for the enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act. § Section 4, paragraph. 4, 5 and 6 apply accordingly.

(4) The owner must be able to keep and guide the dangerous dog safely on the leash. Another supervisor may only lead a dangerous dog outside of the pacified property if they meet the requirements according to § 4 para. 1 sentence 2 no. 2, who has reached the age of eighteen and is able to keep and lead the dangerous dog safely. The owner or a supervisor may not leave a dangerous dog outside the pacified possession to any person who does not meet the requirements of sentence 2. It is not permitted for one person to lead several dangerous dogs at the same time.

(5) The owner of a dangerous dog is obliged to take out and maintain liability insurance to cover personal injury and property damage caused by the dog with a minimum insurance sum of five hundred thousand euros for personal injury and two hundred and fifty thousand euros for other damages.

(6) The sale or disposal of a dangerous dog may only be made to persons who are in possession of a permit according to § 4. Sentence 1 does not apply to the delivery by an animal shelter within the framework of a limited care contract for the initiation of the procurement of a dangerous dog, if the competent authority is notified in advance and the care relationship does not exceed a period of six months. § Section 12, paragraph. 1 applies accordingly.

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§ 6
Expertise

(1) The required expertise (§ 4 para. 1 sentence 2 no. 2) possesses the knowledge and skills to keep and lead a dangerous dog in such a way that it does not pose a danger to the life or health of humans or animals.

2. Proof of competence shall be provided by a certificate of competence issued by the official veterinarian.

(3) The following shall be deemed to be competent pursuant to paragraph 1

  1. Veterinarians and holders of a professional licence according to § 11 of the Federal Veterinary Code,
  2. Holders of a hunting licence or persons who have successfully passed the hunting examination,
  3. Persons who have been granted a permit in accordance with § 11 para. 1 No. 3 letter a or b of the Animal Welfare Act for the breeding or keeping of dogs or for the trade with dogs
  4. Police dog handlers,
  5. Persons who, on the basis of recognition pursuant to § 10 para. 3 are entitled to issue certificates of competence.

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§ 7
Reliability

(1) The required reliability (§ 4 para. 1 sentence 2 no. 2) do not usually own persons who, in particular because of

  1. deliberate attack on life or health, rape, pimping, trespassing, resistance to public authority, a crime dangerous to the public or a crime against property or assets
  2. a criminal offence of unauthorised handling of dangerous dogs (§ 143 StGB),
  3. a crime committed in a state of drunkenness,
  4. have been convicted of an offence against the Animal Welfare Act, the Weapons Act, the Act on the Control of War Weapons, the Explosives Act or the Federal Hunting Act, if five years have not yet elapsed since the last conviction became final. The period shall not include the time during which the person was held in custody in an institution by order of the authorities.

(2) Furthermore, as a rule, persons who, in particular

  1. against regulations of the animal protection law, the dog movement and
    -import restriction law, the weapons law, the law on the control of war weapons, the explosives law or the federal hunting law,
  2. have repeatedly or seriously infringed the provisions of this Act,
  3. are persons in care on account of a mental illness or a mental or psychological disability pursuant to § 1896 of the German Civil Code, or
  4. are addicted to alcohol or narcotics.

(3) In order to prove their reliability, the owner of a dangerous dog must present a certificate of good conduct to an authority in accordance with § 30 para. 5 of the Federal Central Register Act. This shall not affect the authority of the competent authority to request the competent register authority under the Federal Central Register Act to issue a certificate of good conduct also for document type R. In the cases referred to in paragraph 2 No. 3 and 4, the holder may be required to submit an official or specialist medical opinion.

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§ 8
Notification and reporting obligations

(1) The owner must notify the competent authority of the keeping, acquisition, disposal of a dangerous dog and the abandonment of ownership, as well as the relocation within the place of keeping and the departure to another place of keeping as well as the loss and death of the dog. In case of a change of the place of rearing, the obligation to notify the competent authority of the new place of rearing shall also apply. In the event of a change in the person of the keeper, the name and address of the new keeper must be indicated.

(2) Anyone who sells or gives away a dangerous dog must inform the buyer that it is a dangerous dog.

(3) In the event of a change of the place of rearing, the previously competent authority shall inform the now competent authority of findings in accordance with § 3 (3). 3 and the granting of permits and exemptions.

(4) The local authority body responsible for collecting the dog tax can provide the competent authority pursuant to § 13 with the names and addresses of dog owners required for the enforcement of this Act.

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§ 9
Prohibition of breeding, crossing and trade, infertility

Breeding, crossing and trade with dangerous dogs in the sense of § 3 Abs. 3 are prohibited. The owner of a dangerous dog as defined in § 3 must ensure that the dog is not mated with other dogs. The competent authority can order the infertility of a dangerous dog in the sense of § 3, if sentence 1 or sentence 2 is violated.

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§ 10
Dogs of certain breeds

(1) For the handling of dogs of the breeds Alano, American Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Mastiff, Mastino Espanol, Mastino Napoletano, Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, Rottweiler and Tosa Inu as well as their crossbreeds among each other and with other dogs, § 4 with the exception of paragraph 2 and §§ 5 to 8 apply accordingly, as far as in paragraph 2 and 3 nothing else is determined.

(2) Notwithstanding § 5 para. 3 sentence 3, the conduct review may also be carried out by a recognised expert or a recognised expert body.

(3) Notwithstanding § 6 para. 2 the certificate of competence may also be issued by a recognised expert or a recognised expert body.

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§ 11
Large dogs

(1) The keeping of a dog that reaches a height at withers of at least 40 cm or a weight of at least 20 kg when adult (large dog) must be reported to the competent authority by the owner.

(2) Large dogs may only be kept if the owner has the necessary expertise and reliability, has marked the dog forgery-proof with a microchip and has taken out liability insurance for the dog and can prove this to the competent authority. The manner in which
Verification of reliability is the responsibility of the competent authority. § Section 4, paragraph. 7, § 5 paragraph. 5 and § 6 para. 3 apply accordingly.

(3) Proof of competence may also be provided by a certificate of competence issued by a recognised expert, a recognised expert body or by veterinarians appointed by the Chambers of Veterinarians.

(4) Persons who have kept large dogs for more than three years prior to the entry into force of this Act are also deemed to be competent to keep dogs, provided that no incidents recorded by the animal welfare or regulatory authorities occurred during this period and they have given the competent authority written assurance of this.

5. The competent authority may order an application for a certificate of good conduct as proof of good repute if there are indications that cast doubt on the good repute of the holder.

(6) Large dogs are to be kept on a leash outside of a pacified property within built-up areas on public roads, paths and squares. § Article 5 paragraph. 2 sentence 2 applies accordingly.

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§ 12
Authority to issue orders

(1) The competent authority may issue the necessary orders to avert a threat to public safety, in particular violations of the provisions of this Act, in individual cases.

(2) The keeping of a dangerous dog or a dog in the sense of § 10 paragraph 1 shall be prohibited if there has been a serious breach or repeated breaches of the provisions of this Act or of orders issued on the basis of this Act, if the conditions for a licence are not fulfilled, if a required licence has not been applied for within a period specified by the authorities or if a licence has been refused. The keeping of a large dog in the sense of § 11 paragraph. 1 may be prohibited if there is a serious breach or repeated breaches of the provisions of this Act or of orders issued on the basis of this Act which do not meet the husbandry requirements in accordance with Article 11 paragraph 2 are not fulfilled or the conditions of rearing have not been demonstrated to the competent authority within a period fixed by the authorities. With the prohibition, the prohibition of a future keeping of dangerous dogs, of dogs in the sense of § 10 Abs. 1 and § 11 para. 1 can be connected. In case of prohibition, it can be ordered that the dog be taken away from the owner and given to a suitable person or place.

(3) With the consent of the official veterinarian, the euthanasia of a dog secured for the prevention of current dangers to life or health may be ordered if, in the case of its recovery in the sense of § 45 para. 1 of the Police Act, the reasons that justify its safeguarding, continue or reappear, or if exploitation is not possible for other reasons.

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§ 13
Competent authorities

Competent authorities within the meaning of this law are the local regulatory authorities in whose district the dog is kept (place of keeping). The tasks assigned to them under this Act shall be carried out by the municipalities as compulsory tasks to be performed in accordance with instructions.

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§ 14
Recognition of decisions and certificates of other countries

Permits, exemptions and certificates of competence issued by competent authorities of other countries shall be recognised by the competent authority if they essentially meet the requirements set out in and pursuant to this Act.

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§ 15
Application of the law on public order and municipal regulations

(1) Unless otherwise provided for in this Act or in ordinances issued by the regulatory authorities in accordance with this Act, the provisions of the Ordnungsbehördengesetz (Act on Regulatory Authorities) shall apply.

(2) Regulations in ordinances of the local regulatory authorities with regard to dogs remain unaffected or can be newly included therein, as long as these regulations do not contradict this law or the ordinances issued on the basis of this law.

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§ 16
Ordnungsbehördliche Verordnungen

(1) The necessary regulatory orders for the implementation of this Act shall be issued by the Ministry responsible for veterinary matters. Provisions may be laid down by administrative regulation concerning

  1. the contents and the procedure of the conduct review according to § 5 paragraph. 3 Sentence 3,
  2. the requirements for the expertise of persons who have a dangerous dog, a dog in the sense of § 10 para. 1 or within the meaning of § 11 para. 1 and the procedure for the examination of expertise,
  3. the requirements, the procedure and the competence for the recognition of the Experts and Expert Bodies required to issue a certificate of competence according to § 10 para. 3 and § 11 para. 3 and the performance of a conduct review in accordance with § 10 para. 2 entitled,
  4. the requirements for the contents and procedures of an examination of expertise by experts and expert bodies within the meaning of § 10 para. 3 and § 11 para. 3 and a conduct test in accordance with § 10 para. 2,
  5. the authority responsible for the central registration of dogs registered in accordance with this Act and the procedure for data transfer.

§ Section 26, paragraph. 3 of the Ordnungsbehördengesetz (Law on Regulatory Authorities) shall apply accordingly.

(2) The Ministry responsible for veterinary affairs is authorised to issue a regulation by means of an ordinance on the measures referred to in § 3 (3). 2 and § 10 para. 1, other breeds whose keeping, upbringing and supervision require special requirements in order to avoid risks to humans and animals. Paragraph 1 sentence 3 applies accordingly.

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§ 17
Exceptions to the scope

This law applies with the exception of § 2 paragraph. 1 Not for service dogs of authorities, dogs of the rescue service or civil protection and guide dogs for the blind. For disabled guide dogs, herding dogs and usable hunting dogs, the leashing obligations determined by law do not apply within the scope of their intended use.

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§ 18
limitation of fundamental rights

The following may be restricted by or under this Act

  1. the fundamental right of free exercise of the profession (Article 12 (1) sentence 2 of the Basic Law),
  2. the fundamental right to inviolability of the home (Article 13(1) of the Basic Law),
  3. the fundamental right to property (Article 14(1), first sentence, of the Basic Law).

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§ 19
Criminal provision

(1) A prison sentence of up to two years or a fine shall be imposed on anyone who

  1. siccing dogs on people or animals,
  2. contrary to section 2 paragraph 3 trains a dog with the aim of increased aggressiveness.

(2) The decision may order that the dog to which the offence relates be confiscated. § Section 74a of the German Criminal Code shall apply.

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§ 20
Administrative offences

(1) It is an administrative offence to deliberately or negligently violate

  1. § Article 2 paragraph. 1 does not keep, lead or supervise a dog in such a way that it does not pose a danger to humans or animals
  2. § Article 2 paragraph. does not keep 2 dogs on a leash,
  3. § Section 4, paragraph. 3 does not allow access to the pacified property or does not tolerate findings,
  4. § Article 5 paragraph. 1 dangerous dogs or dogs in the sense of § 10 paragraph 1 does not hold the property in such a way that they cannot leave a pacified property against the will of the holder,
  5. § Article 5 paragraph. 2 sentence 1 dangerous dogs or dogs in the sense of § 10 paragraph. 1 is not leashed or not on a suitable leash
  6. § Article 5 paragraph. 2 sentence 3 dangerous dogs or dogs in the sense of § 10 paragraph. 1 does not wear a muzzle or a device of comparable effectiveness,
  7. § Article 5 paragraph. 4 Sentence 1 as owner is not able to keep or lead a dangerous dog safely on the leash,
  8. § Article 5 paragraph. 4 sentence 2 as a supervisor a dangerous dog or dog in the sense of § 10 paragraph 1 without fulfilling the conditions for this,
  9. § Article 5 paragraph. 4 sentence 3 leaves a dangerous dog to a person who fulfils the requirements of § 5 para. 4 sentence 2 is not fulfilled,
  10. § Article 5 paragraph. 4 sentence 4 leads several dangerous dogs at the same time,
  11. § Article 5 paragraph. 5 a dangerous dog or a dog in the sense of § 10 paragraph 1 even though the liability insurance contract required for keeping the dangerous dog does not or no longer exists,
  12. § Article 5 paragraph. 6 a dangerous dog or a dog in accordance with § 10 paragraph 1 to persons who do not have the required permit,
  13. § Article 8 paragraph. 1 or 2 notification or notification obligations not fulfilled,
  14. contrary to § 9 sentence 2 does not ensure that a mating of his dangerous dog does not take place,
  15. § Article 10 paragraph. 1 the requirements of § 5 para. applicable thereafter 4 is not observed,
  16. § Section 11, paragraph. 1 does not indicate the keeping of dogs in the sense of this regulation
  17. § Section 11, paragraph. 2 sentence 1 without having proven to the competent authority the conditions for keeping dogs mentioned in the first sentence,
  18. § Section 11, paragraph. 6 leads a large dog unleashed.

 

(2) It is also an administrative offence to deliberately or negligently act in contravention of or fail to comply with an enforceable order to render infertile pursuant to § 9 sentence 3 or an order pursuant to § 12.

(3) Administrative offences under subsections 1 and 2 may be punishable by a fine of up to EUR 100,000.

(4) Dogs, to which an administrative offence according to paragraph 1 or paragraph 2 refers, can be taken into account under the conditions of § 27 paragraph. 2 No 2 of the Act on Administrative Offences.

(5) Administrative authority within the meaning of § 36 para. 1 No 1 of the Act on Administrative Offences is the competent authority within the meaning of Article 13 of this Act.

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§ 21
Transitional provisions

(1) An effective regulatory licence in accordance with § 4 (1) 1 of the Landeshundeverordnung (LHV NRW) of 30 June 2000 (GV.NRW. p. 518 b) is considered as permission according to § 4 paragraph. 1 away.

(2) An effective regulatory decision in accordance with § 6 (2) 4 LHV NRW for exemption from the muzzle obligation is deemed to be exemption in accordance with § 5 paragraph. 3 Sentence 1 continues. § Article 5 paragraph. 3 sentence 2 remains unaffected.

(3) A notification pursuant to § 1 para. 2 LHV NRW shall be regarded as notification in accordance with § 11 paragraph. 1 away. In connection with the enforcement of the LHV NRW, proof of the dog's identification, expertise and reliability as well as the existence of a liability insurance for the dog must be recognized by the responsible authorities upon enforcement of this law.

(4) § 4 paragraph 2 of this Act shall not apply to persons who, at the time of the entry into force of this Act, are keeping a dangerous dog as defined in § 3, unless the provision of § 4 para. 3 of the LHV NRW was valid.

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§ 22
Review of the effects of the law

The effects of this law will be reviewed by the state government after a five-year period of experience, with the participation of the municipal umbrella organisations and other experts. The Land Government shall then inform the competent committee of the Land parliament of the result of the review.

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§ 23
Entry into force, repeal

(1) This Act shall enter into force on the day following its promulgation. At the same time, the Landeshundeverordnung (LHV NRW) of 30 June 2000 (GV. NRW. p. 518 b) will expire.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph 1, § 4 shall come into force for dogs of the breeds Alano and American Bulldog as well as their crossbreeds among each other and with dogs of other breeds or crossbreeds of mixed breeds six months after the date determined in paragraph 1 sentence 1.

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