Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Appendix IV

Everyone was laughing.....except the gov. witness. He looked confused and said, 'Uh, excuse me Your Honor, but I am afraid I don't understand what you are asking me'.
It was classic.

Cathie Dettmar

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Angela Mittmann (2002) authored the dissertation which became an important weapon in the battle against breed legislation. It also became the cornerstone of the urban myth that "no significant difference" could be found in the aggressive tendencies of pit bulls and golden retrievers.

In a brief section describing the development of the test for aggression Ms Mittman simply refers to Appendix IV. Upon turning to Appendix IV we discover a list of names, which are included at the bottom of this page.

With this enigmatic reference we are given to understand that this group wrote the test for canine aggression. SRUV has previously* referred to the test as a document written in a smoke-filled back room, and there is no indication that scientific procedures were used to develop the test. We have argued that the TiHo test actually disguised aggressive tendencies in dogs. We also argue that the test led directly to extended court battles and to the legal debacle which ended with the annulment of the dog laws.

The Appendix IV committee was packed with advocates of fighting breeds. One member of the committee, Esther Schalke, subsequently authored papers which advocated for fighting breeds. Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Hackbarth, also on the Appendix IV committee, is the director of TiHo and very likely the man behind the curtain.

It will be informative to look at other members of the Appendix IV committee, in order to better understand how the test for aggression came to be such a counterproductive document.

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Now we will segue to the chat forum at the bulliez.net where we find a Cathie Dettmar appealing for funds to continue a long running (nine years, at that point) and expensive (33K euros) court case.

Yes, Cathie would be married to Rudolf, a member of the Appendix IV committee (see below),  and signs many of her posts as Cathie and Rudi Dettmar. 

Subtracting nine years from the date of the post (March, 2010) indicates that the Dettmar's court case (against restrictions on importing fighting breeds into Germany) began in 2001, immediately after Rudolf's service to help write the test for aggression. Sitting on the committee to write a test for aggression, which would clearly be considered a conflict of interest by many, apparently didn't bother the less scrupulous Rudi.

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Now we segue to a Staffordshire Bull Terrier web site (staffords.co.uk)  in the UK, where Cathie shows up reporting on another court case: 
The highest administration court in Berlin heard the appeal of the Lower Saxony Dangerous Dog Law (Rudi was there today) . . . 
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Segue to yet another page, where Cathie reports, in a lengthy letter, on a court judgment of 3 July 2002:
Two studies were presented as evidence by the plaintiffs:
The Vet. School in Hannover tested over 500 dogs in their temperament test.(The 5th study Rudi and I are using in our trial).  . . . The Cat. 1 dogs, (Bull Terrier, Am Staff and Pitbull) ranked from very good to excellent.
Also introduced was the temperament test done by Dr. Feddersen-Petersen. She tested 207 dogs and only 1 failed. (Another expert we have for the Bull Terrier)
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Mr and Mrs Dettmar are breeders and importers of Bull Terriers from England into Germany, and continue to be fierce opponents of dog legislation in the courts. 

Cathie's last comment conveniently provides the transition to Dr. Feddersen-Petersen, who is also an Appendix IV committee member. Not only did she act as a witness in the Dettmar's court case, but she has been a prolific author of letters to the courts, including here and most conspicuously, here.

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There is more, but we are reluctant to bore the readers.

Why did the state of Lower Saxony chose Mr Dettmar to help write the test? And why would they invite a second breeder of fighting breeds, Ortlieb Lothary, to participate? These two men, both of them breeders of fighting dogs, are the only breeders represented on the Appendix IV committee; breeders of Golden Retrievers are not represented. 

How did it come to pass that the state of Lower Saxony passed a law to restrict fighting and other dangerous breeds, then pack the test committee with advocates of fighting breeds?

The members of the Appendix IV committee were given a public charge to act in behalf of society, and chose instead to protect fighting breeds, in conflict with their public responsibilities.

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See the TiHo Index for complete list of posts on TiHo.

* Related post: Personal Communication

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks in the US

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Appendix IV

Dr. Johan Altmann
Veterinary officer and chairman of the Lower Saxony Animal Welfare Advisory Council

Rudolf Dettmar
VDH representative of Lower Saxony, Harsum, Bull Terrier Breeders

Dr. Dorit Feddersen-Petersen
Ethologist, Veterinary specialist, Department of Animal Science, Christian-Albrechts-University, Kiel

Dr. Barbara Gottstein
Veterinarian, Lower Saxony Ministry of Nutrition, Agriculture and Forestry

Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Hackbarth
Director of the Institute for Animal Welfare and Behaviour, Hannover

Ortlieb Lothary
Bull Terrier Bull Terrier Breeders Association, Maxhuette

Dr. Sabine Petermann
Veterinarian; Niedersachsen, Director of the Animal Welfare Service

Dr. Esther Schalke
Veterinarian, Institute for Animal Welfare and Behaviour, Hannover

Dr. Barbara Schöning
Veterinary Specialist for Ethology and Animal Welfare, Hamburg