Did you know Denmark has a dog breed ban written into law? Neither did Dan when he and his pit bull Zanto moved to the country. Denmark first implemented a breed ban in 1991 in order to prevent dog violence incidents, but they have made amendments to it adding more dogs to the list as recently as 2014. However, Zanto was not a bad dog, he had done anything wrong. A sweet and loving little boy with no incidents on record, Zanto was merely the wrong breed in the wrong country.
When authorities discovered that 27-year-old Dan was living with Zanto, they forcibly removed the dog from Dan's home under the banned breed law. Dan was given eight days to prove Zanto wasn't a member of the banned breeds list, but he was unable to do so. Zanto did indeed look like a pit bull, but as a rescue, Dan couldn't prove either way what breed he actually was. It was shortly after his dog was euthanized that Dan overdosed on his pain medication and passed away as well. It is not known if Dan committed suicide intentionally in his grief or on accident.
This was a tragic end for both Dan and Zanto, but it has people questioning whether breed specific laws are helpful or if the government should start letting owners take responsibility for their own dog choices. Unlike the rest of the European Union, Denmark is still very behind the times with banning breeds based on stereotypes with more dog breeds being added to the Banned Dog List in 2014.
Currently, Denmark's Breed Specific Legislation does not allow thirteen dog breeds to live within the country, these include:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Tosa Inu
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Fila Brasileiro
- Dogo Argentino
- American Bulldog
- Central Asian Shepherd Dog
- Caucasian Shepherd Dog
- South Russian Shepherd Dog