Canine racism

I am, of course, no expert in the matter of canine breeding, or the balance of nature/nurture in dogs. But how is it that simply having a dog born a specific breed is illegal? I assume (correct me if I’m wrong) that it’s possible that a pit bull can be bred without specifically trying for it; and that some people do specifically want a pit bull because of their famous loyalty to their owners. Why is such a broad swathe of canine breeding illegal?

Surely it’s the owners/breeders/trainers who train the dog (by design or through neglect) to be vicious that are to blame; innocent dogs that happen to be of a proscribed breed (and the owners who ensure that they’re not vicious) shouldn’t be the targets of such schemes as this.

Owners of the outlawed breed in Ballymena, County Antrim, have been given the whole of January to hand in the dogs without fear of prosecution.

The town council’s dog warden, Nigel Devine, said two pit bulls had been left with the council.

Both of the animals were put down, although Mr Devine stressed neither appeared vicious.

So both animals, despite not appearing vicious, were killed anyway. Not the fairest of outcomes, that. Is it?

5 thoughts on “Canine racism

  1. I felt sorry for those poor beasties. It’s entirely the owners fault that pit bull type dogs have a bad name, they’re big softies when properly reared. But hey, people are dumb, who knew?

  2. Good posts but tell that to the 5 year old mother in St Helens who has been killed by a pit bull. The resident have said as Stephens post says it was a big softie, did not stop it from killing the child. These pit bulls were breed for fighting, it will always be in them.

    Pit bull terriers as well as certain other breeds of dogs were banned by the UK Government in 1991. Dogs which were alive at the time were allowed to be kept to live out their natural life on the condition the owners applied for an exemption certificate before 30th November 1991 and that the dog be neutered, micro chipped, covered by third party insurance and muzzled when in a public place.

    Since that time it has been illegal throughout the United Kingdom to breed, sell, offer or advertise any such dog specified under the legalisation. As all of the original dogs which were exempt under the legalisation will have lived out their natural lives by now, anyone who owns a pit bull type dog in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland is breaking the law and can be prosecuted.

    While many may not agree with the details of the legalisation governing the ownership of specified breeds described in the legalisation as “Dangerous Dogs” or the humane destruction of these dogs if they are seized, the councils responsibility lies with applying the law and not making it. The council however made representation to the government concerning the legalisation but it is up to parliament to change it and not the District Council.

    For whatever reason, the number of these dogs being secretly bred and sold in Northern Ireland has increased over recent years. Recent serious attacks on local people and their pets in and around Ballymena seams to have stimulated the council into an initiative to remind Pit Bull owners that they are breaking the law and to give them the opportunity to either be reassured that their dog is not a banned breed which has been done according to the local paper, 10 dogs checked, none pit bulls, owners happy or to surrender it for humane destruction if it is a banned breed.

    So dont blame the enforcer, blame the government who made the law.

  3. Oh, don’t worry. I do blame the government. On this and many other issues. But the central point remains: it is not the fault of the dog that it was bred, and in many cases it is not the fault of the owner. They are the ones who would be punished though, because of the actions of a tiny minority of owners and their animals.

    (And if the legislation is confusing enough that people are actually having to have their dogs check to see if they’re illegal, then it’s a bad law on that front as well. Of course, for that the blame does rest completely with a government that has long since left the picture.)

  4. i think it is a descrease that inacent dogs have to be destroyed if you actualy took every dog attack into consideration most of them have been done by other breeds very few have been done by the so called (monster) pitbull a lot of people have these dogs as proper family pets and they are very good dogs nigel devine is meant to be for the animals not against them there is responsable owners out there why should they suffer too it should be the same as england and wales if you are a responsable owner you pitbull should be licenced, neutered and even musseled if it meant you kept you pet people have to start fighting this case to try to save there pets

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