Posts went round social media claiming that Staffordshire Bull Terriers, as well as some other breeds, will need to wear a muzzle at the Madrid show. In Spain, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are seen to be a dangerous dog alongside Pit Bull Terriers, Dogo Argentino, Rottweiler, English Bull Terrier, Akita Inu, Fila Brasileiro and Tosa Inu. Dangerous dogs are not banned in Spain in the same way as they are in this country but there are rules, and people walking these breeds must be licensed.
The law is based on the assumption that it isn’t the dog that is dangerous in itself but the way that it is handled that can create a danger to others. It is the owner that must prove to the authorities in Spain that he or she is fit to be in charge of a potentially dangerous animal.
The fact that dogs must be muzzled when in a public place appears to have created the social media frenzy, with some owners threatening to boycott the show.
Consternation was further raised by posts showing photos of muzzled dogs taking part in a show in Lugo, Northern Spain. The Real Sociedad Canina De España (RSCE), the Spanish equivalent of the Kennel Club, criticised the decision of the authorities at the Lugo show to muzzle dogs.
It said in a statement, ‘On the weekend of January 25 and 26, the Lugo International Exhibition was held, producing at some point a conflict in relation to those dogs defined as Potentially Dangerous Dogs.
‘According to the news received at this headquarters, a person in charge of the structure of the Junta de Galicia requested that the dogs of the reference breeds on the premises be judged in the muzzle ring.
‘This situation made the fundamental objective of the exhibition, the evaluation of dogs, absolutely impossible. ‘Likewise, the RSCE considers that the aforementioned is not consistent with the provisions of article 11 of Law 50/1999, which excludes all of these breeds when animals are subjected to tests for the selection and improvement of the species.
‘It should be noted that the requirement of the use of the muzzle prevents determining the morphology, behaviour and temperament that are inherent in the breed.
‘It should also be noted that the incident in Lugo is also not adjusted with the provisions of point 2 of article 8 of RD 287/2002 that develops Law 50/1999 that affects security measures.’ In order to clarify the situation the organisers of the World Dog Show posted a message on Facebook, ‘IMPORTANT MESSAGE: No dog OF ANY BREED will use a muzzle during the WDS.
The WDS is being organized in perfect collaboration with the competent authorities. ‘Ignore any message that contradicts this statement or seeks to boycott our Show. Madrid WDS2020 will be a great show for EVERY DOG!’ The World Dog Show will take place between 23 – 26 April in Madrid.