Bull Terrier Owners Will Appeal - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Bull Terrier Owners Will Appeal

Published November 7, 2015

Photos by
Lilly M/Wikimedia Commons

The owners of the bull terrier, Cream, who was barred from entering Iceland, are taking their case to the Supreme Court.

Vísir reports that Hilmar Egill Jónsson, who owns the bull terrier in question, is not taking the recent ruling of Reykjavík District Court, which upheld a law forbidding bull terriers from being imported to Iceland.

In a strongly-worded letter to the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST), whom he accuses of “abuse of power”, Hilmar vows to fight against the “arbitrary decision” of the government office.

“My wish is that the institution be made to answer for itself in Supreme Court,” he wrote. “I have decided to appeal our case to them. I do not consider it natural that a little family should have to fight against the arbitrary decisions of a public office, to great cost. It should not be my role to prove that my dog is safe; it should be the government institution that proves why the dog is not welcome in Iceland.”

As reported, the dog in question, Cream, belongs to an Icelandic family who lived in Norway for some time before deciding to move back to Iceland in 2004. They had wanted to bring Cream with them, but this particular breed is banned in Iceland.

In order to rectify this, they appealed to MAST and the Icelandic government to grant them an exemption from the law. This appeal was rejected on the grounds that bull terriers have been historically used in bear baiting and bull baiting.

The family objected on the grounds that their emotional ties to Cream is “on par with a traditional family connection”. The matter subsequently went to Reykjavík District Court, who ruled to uphold the law.

For the record, English bull terriers are not the only dog breed banned in Iceland. It is also illegal to import Pit Bull Terriers, Fila Brasileiros, Toso Inus, Dogo Argentinos and dogs crossbred with wolves.

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