April 21st, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) A bill introduced by Rep. Ileana Brenes (PLN) to the Commission on Environment of the Legislative Assembly aims to regulate the ownership of “potentially dangerous” dog breeds.
“[The people of Costa Rica] insist that measures be taken to ensure the safety of people – their life, health, and property – against dangerous dogs,” the bill states.
The bill would regulate the “possession, breeding, training, transport and handling of potentially dangerous dogs.”
The bill would require anyone who owns, breeds, trains, handles, or transports “potentially dangerous” dogs to possess a special license and to obtain liability insurance.
If a person were found to not have such a license and insurance, the dog would be confiscated and kept in a shelter until the owner complies with the requirements.
Municipalities would be responsible for issuing licenses and creating municipal shelters for confiscated dogs. Municipalities would be able to establish a fee for such licenses in order to fund the shelters.
The bill defines “potentially dangerous” dogs as those who, due to their “natural aggressiveness” or due to their physique, are capable of causing injury or death to humans or other animals or serious damage to property.
The responsibility for creating a list of specific breeds and/or characteristics of dogs that would be subject to the regulation would be left to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG).
In addition to the licensing requirement, “potentially dangerous dogs” would have to be muzzled at all times when in public, and be on a leash not more than one meter in length.