Exemption | SSC-NL
You should not let a dog pull a cart, sled, boat, or any other object. Do you want to use dogs as a pulling force? Then you usually need an exemption for this. You can request this from us. The application also includes a statement from the vet.
In the Netherlands, dogs may not be used as a pulling force. This is laid down in the Animals Act. This law prohibits any activity involving the use of a dog to pull a cart, sleigh, boat, or any other object, animal, or human on land or water.
In certain situations it is possible to deviate from the prohibition with an exemption. No exemption is required for the practice of canicross (running with the dog). Some dog breeds may also be used as a sled dog in sled dog sport without exemption.
No exemption required
Do you practice sled dog sport with one or more of the dog breeds listed below (with pedigree)? Then an exemption applies and you can practice your sport without exemption:
You also do not need to apply for an exemption for running with dogs (canicross).
Do you want to use a dog as a pulling force for an activity that does not have an exemption? Then you need an exemption. This applies, for example, to bikejoring (mountain biking with a leash dog) and waterworks (pulling boats, objects and people in the water). Or for sled dog sports with a different breed of dog than that for which an exemption applies. There are also activities for which we do not issue an exemption, for example for old crafts and weightpulling.
You will only receive an exemption for the use of a dog as pulling power if you meet the following conditions, among others:
The dog benefits from it and its health and well-being is not affected.
The dog must be chipped.
For an exemption, fill in an application form and a vet statement for each dog. The exemption is valid for a maximum of one year.
Other vehicle or dog
You must apply for a new waiver and submit a new vet statement in the following cases:
Your dog will tow a different vehicle than the one for which you have been granted an exemption.
You are going to use another dog as a draft dog.
The exemption has expired and you want to use the same dog for the same activity.
You can submit your applications with the digital form Application for exemption from prohibition of the use of dogs as a pulling force (PDF). Fill in the form, print it out and send it to us. You will find the address on the form. You can use this form for multiple dogs. Describe how often and for what purpose you want to use the dog (s) as a pulling force, which object the dog has to pull and the circumstances under which this happens (for example a description of the event, the terrain and the weather condition). For more information, please visit:
Download a blank vet statement for each dog here (PDF). Take this statement, your dog (s) and a photo of the vehicle that the dog is going to tow or possibly the vehicle itself to the vet. The vet will assess whether your dog is suitable for work as a draft dog and fill out the statement.
Applying for an exemption costs nothing. The costs for the examination by the vet are for your account.