Parliament agreed by a wide majority yesterday to forbid homeowners from shooting free-roaming dogs that may wander onto their property. However, dog owners can now face fines of up to 2000 kroner if their pooch continually visits the neighbours without an invitation.
“There is no doubt that owners are responsible for their dogs and must ensure they do not stray and make people feel uncomfortable,” said food minister Dan Jørgensen in a statement. “At the same time, it is completely untenable that private landowners be able to play sheriff on their land and shoot dogs.”
The Balder story
Jørgensen said that the law was put into place to prevent another case like that of Balder, a beloved family pet that was shot by a neighbour who said that the dog was repeatedly on his property, even though he had complained to its owner. Jørgensen said that the new law also protected dogs and their owners from those that would shoot a dog for aggressive play.
“Dogs obviously should not bite and there should be sanctions if the do,” said the minister. “But cases of dogs being killed because they are trying to playfully nip another dog should never happen again.”
Jørgensen said that he had heard from many dog owners who felt that their pet’s lives were in danger from gun-happy neighbours. The new laws take effect on July 1.