A rant

Another unthinkable attack on a child by dogs. I’m both sickened and angry.

Yes, I know. This is talkback radio stuff. But, another young life needlessly torn apart, with permanent psychological as well as physical injury.

The police are investigating laying charges against the owner. Is that supposed to make us feel better? It doesn’t. As one totally unrepentant dogowner put it on the weekend, whilst walking his new dog in the very park in which his former dog mauled a little girl five years ago, “I can have 10 dogs if I like.”

There is more that we can do. I was in the UK in 1991 when the politicians there decided they’d had enough.¬† In the UK (amongst other measures):

  • You cannot own or keep a Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino or Fila Braziliero, unless it is on the Index of Exempted Dogs and complies with strict requirements (it must be neutered, and kept muzzled and on a lead in public). It is also an offence to breed from, sell or exchange (even as a gift) such a dog, irrespective of whether it has been placed on the Index of Exempted Dogs.
  • Any dog is defined as dangerously out of control if it injures a person or if it behaves in a way that makes a person worried that it might injure them. The maximum penalty for allowing your dog to be dangerously out of control is two years imprisonment, a fine, or both.

Has this approach worked? It’s difficult to tell, as it will still be some time before these breeds disappear from Britain. But that there are only 1,000 pit bulls left in the UK is heartening.

Even if the problem is cultural — they’re a macho status symbol for men with small dicks — having dogs that can be trained to be particularly violent and aggressive is a key part of the problem.

I say, let’s get rid of them.

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7 Responses to “A rant”

  1. Inventory2 Says:

    Couldn’t agree more JP – these dogs have few redeeming features, and one dog attack on a human is one too many. Ban them now!

  2. AndrewE Says:

    Yep, I’d be happy to see them banned.

  3. Ari Says:

    Yeah, they’re past the point of safety, I think.

    One thing that also bothers me is that these dogs are often left on a lead during the day with no supervision and nothing to do- an excellent way to piss them off even further.

    If people could be responsible with their dogs and get over their blind spots about whether they would hurt other people, then we wouldn’t even need to do this. But some people just don’t have a clue unfortunately.

  4. MacDoctor Says:

    Ari: Agree with you. The basic problem is that people see dogs as something other than an animal ( as a child, a friend or a cuddly toy). Dogs are pack animals and tend to reflect the leader’s attributes. A belligerent owner will produce an aggressive dog and, of course, this is made ten times worse when the animal has been bred for aggression, like a pit-bull. Unfortunately, aggressive people tend to choose aggressive breeds. Worse, they are usually the least capable of understanding the principles and responsibilities of dog ownership.

  5. Inventory2 Says:

    Just a random thought – wasn’t the mandatory microchipping of dogs supposed to stop things like this happening?

    I2, Only in part. It’s probably a good thing on balance (for diverse reasons), but it certainly doesn’t go far in addressing the underlying problem, on which the commentors here seem to have a consensus. That thought had occurred to me also.

  6. Inventory2 Says:

    I guess you can draw a parallel between the “It’s not OK” adverts on domestic violence, and the microchipping – in that those who are most likely to offend are the ones who are least likely to comply, or respond to an ad campaign – if they even know it exists.

  7. jafapete Says:

    I2, The “It’s not OK” spots are aimed at everyone I think, recognising that the problem is caused by attitudes across society.

    One day I hope that no-one will ever make a joke about wife-beating — as someone did on kiwiblog recently — and think that people will find it funny. Eventually the changed attitudes of the most susceptible seep through to the least. The increased reporting rates come from the victims’ attitudes changing, so the ads have had an important effect thereas well.

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