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Why The Pit Bull Ban Must Go

Talking Points

I’m writing this not in my position as editor of K9 Magazine.

Nor do I write it as a former professional dog trainer.

I don’t even write this having seen and reported on some of the barbaric and inhumane treatment of innocent dogs condemned to die after been taken from their owners having committed no other ‘crime’ than looking like and matching the Government mandated description of ‘Pit Bull Terrier type’.

pit-bull


I write this, quite simply, as a human being with a compassion for animals.

Since 1991 the United Kingdom has operated a piece of flawed legislation known as the Dangerous Dogs Act. This poorly thought out, ill judged, in-effective law sought to ban particular dogs based on nothing more than what they look like. In particular, Ken Baker (the MP who rushed through the act and has openly admitted his dislike for certain ‘types’ of dogs), targeted the Pit Bull.

Since then a large mythology has grown up around this most misunderstood dog breed.

It seems that if you say the words ‘Pit Bulls should NOT be banned, they should be a legal breed the same as any other’ you are immediately challenged to defend that position.

Why?

Because by banning the breed, Baker immediately smeared an entire group of dogs (and indeed their owners) as ‘dangerous’.

In the cold light of day, this is laughable. But there’s absolutely nothing funny about the countless dogs who’ve been killed, by the Government, and the owners whose lives have been altered forever as a result.

This is neither the time nor the place for me to list the many victims of breed specific legislation. I simply want to state, unequivocally, that the Pit Bull witch-hunt must end.

Since 1991 successive Governments have conceded the folly of the Dangerous Dogs Act, which has not achieved any of its stated aims either by way of reducing dog attacks or even removing Pit Bulls from UK homes.

Those who support the law are hard pressed to defend it when it is put under scrutiny.

Pit Bulls are a dog like any other.

They are large. They are powerful. Can they be dangerous? Yes! JUST LIKE ANY OTHER.

People have been attacked and killed by many different dog breeds. If our aim, as a society, is to produce only dogs that are incapable of injuring or killing people then we had better get to work quickly on producing dogs made out of cotton wool with marshmallow teeth.

I admit I may be preaching to the choir here, but I wanted to do it any way. So I ask this one, simple question and encourage you to contribute below…

Do you believe that Pit Bulls are inherently more dangerous and should therefore be exterminated in the United Kingdom?

If you do, then I’m willing to listen to your reasons why. If you do not, then please feel free to add your experience and opinion on why the UK still has a policy of operating failed, draconian, cruel breed specific legislation.

I urge and encourage our overseas friends to add your opinions too. Pit Bull owners particularly.

Thank you.

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Comments
  1. No. They’re not automatically more dangerous by default than any other dog. They are only as dangerous as their owner makes them. And so rather than an outright ban, there should be regulated licensing and education for the owners, and compulsory training classes for the dog. That way only truly dedicated and responsible people will want to own them. With the reward of having a loving an faithful pibble in their family ūüôā I’m from Australia by the way, and don’t have one myself. But I believe in the value of all animals, and their right to life.

  2. Arguably, the American Pit Bull Terrier is the dog least likely to bite you as a direct result of it’s fighting history. Because they had to be handled in the pit man-biters were culled. Outside of the pit they are just dogs. Inside the pit they are a tragic betrayal of canine loyalty and a disgraceful example of human depravity.
    With the advent of the obscenity that is breed specific legislation (BSL) we can safely call Pit Bulls and their hapless lookalikes the most unfairly reviled, abused and murdered breed in the history of the human/canine bond.
    Despite having been made so desirable by the hype to so many undesirable owners they are still well down the list of offenders in properly researched and reviewed dog bite statistics. Anyone saying otherwise either has an agenda or they let the media tell them what to think.
    I’ve shared my home with countless Pit Bulls, both my own and many fosters, for nearly twenty years and not one has ever been in the pound, or caused any concern for visitors, neighbours or passersby. My dogs are listed in the local pizza hut delivery driver’s database as licking hazards. That is the archetypal Pit Bull.
    BSL is a deplorable law and governments still applying it should be very ashamed.

  3. I have been vet-nursing for 16 years and grew up with pittbulls and bull terriers owned by rough living people. The ONLY dog I have ever been bitten by was a sharpei pure bred by a breeder. In my experience they are the most unpredictable breed out there. The dogs that actually bite 90% of the time are retrievers and labradors. If the government really cared about us as a people they would have looked into this more thoroughly instead of fear-mongering and creating flawed laws that only hurt the innocent. Providing free puppy training for bullys and free courses or information on dog behaviour and how to train your dog would go alot further in protecting people and dogs. Too many idiots and greedy people in government who just don’t care about democracy anymore, forcing laws on us without getting proper public opinion and professional opinions from vets etc.

  4. BSL in any country is sad and barbaric. I have rescued a few Pit Bulls and rehabilitated them. They are the most loving and forgiving breed of dog. Its sickens me to see how misunderstood they are and I hate how many are dying because of the stupid BSL law. Killing a dog because of the way it looks is wrong. We are humans, we are suppose to evolve not regress! 

  5. I belong to lots of dog groups on facebook, so I see stories daily of sweet innocent animals being ripped away from families! Dogs who have done nothing wrong. Then¬† I see so many awesome people coming forward and scrambling to try and save them. A few get lucky but many don’t! ¬† I cry tears daily watching this!! It breaks my heart, I wish there was more I could do, but there’s not. Sometimes I think just delete these groups off your wall so you don’t have to see this, but I can’t do that either I need to be reminded what could happen here in my town, we already have a muzzle law and have to pay higher licensing fees, among a few other rules. Plus now there are some people down south who are trying to push for a province wide ban. BSL is total insanity!!! Dogs that don’t even look like pit bulls are even being targeted.¬† Even though my contribution is small, I will do my best to help¬† FIGHT this bull shit legislation come to an end!!!

  6. ¬†@AndreaHessedenz Nothing small about your contribution or your strength and determination to keep fighting Andrea. Follow Chef David’s advice and get proactive. It beats crying by a country mile. Don’t get sad, get going! And recruit, recruit, recruit! (;

  7. I have experience with my own dog and aggression issues and in my quest to correct these behaviors I’ve come to realize that the course of the behavior is no less than my failure to correctly socialize and be the leader my dog had always needed.
    I believe that the nation needs to completely change the way we perceive our pets.
    You cant drive a car without having some lessons, so what makes people go and get a dog before knowing if they can control it?

  8. @gwjfletcher being in control of one’s dog is good. Over all responsible ownership is better and best.¬† that includes breed awareness, proper care, spay/ neutering, exercise and socialization, including the dog as part of your family or “pack”, and taking into consideration EVERYTHING in your life that will effect your dog (a new baby in the home, a changed work schedule, a move to a new home, a new person coming into the home, change in diet, family illness, etc etc etc).¬†
    As you would take all of these conditions into consideration with a human child, consideration needs to be extended with pets.
    “Its only a dog, for crying out loud”… some might contest.
    There is no such thing as “Only a dog”. This is a living being that has intelligence and is effected by these changes in the home. More so… this living being (ALL DOG BREEDS) is capable of injuring or killing a human if abused or neglected.
     
    We must not ask where dogs have failed, rather… where we as humans have failed dogs and the institution of dog ownership.

  9. This breed is the same as any other breed if you do not take the time to train a dog and look after it properly do not get one these are strong powerful breed as are alot of others, if this breed is looked after and trained properly they make great pets,.¬†..But any dog can bit from a¬†dachshund to a great Dane.¬†a friend had a dachshund and bit her a few times but she went to training classes and got it sorted, so do not blame the breed blame the owner this has been said over and over again..¬†I also know of a man who had a pit bull and he could not control it as he was walking past my house it grabbed the other mans small dog and wouldn’t let go it made a mess and the small dog had alot of vet care after..this happened on two occasions the next one it crabbed at a lurcher the dog was a stray and came up to say hello to the bull terrier it took two men to wrestle with the pit bull to get it off the dog..the man who owned the pit bull after that had it destroyed, but he had not trained the dog and after the first attack should of had it muzzled, so who was to blame the dog or the owner…I could list loads of people i know of that have been bitten buy other breeds i myself was set upon by a boarder collie and a bulldog but the woman had a baby in a pushchair and the dogs were off lead, she was hopeless, once again the owners fault…

  10. I am from the US and I’m also the proud gaurdian of an adopted 8yr old lab/pit. Because of him, I absolutely fell in love with the Pit Bull breed. Does BSL work? Absolutely not. It has been proven to be ineffective and cause more damage and heartache than anything else. Recently I wrote and just had a book published that is a pictorial and historical look at pit bulls as valued cherished pets by people and families who loved them. The original photos from my own collection are from the early 1800’s to the 1930’s and how much this breed played an important role in the early part of the United States history.
    If these dogs are the monsters that the media, politicians, and¬† haters of the breed would want us to believe, than we only need to look at¬†history to know the truth. These dogs are no different than any others and it is the undesirables and¬†inexperienced owners that have created this mess. We truly need to blame the owners and what they’ve created.
    The reason why the powers to be don’t go after the undesireables rather than¬†putting full blame on the dogs, is because it’s easier than addressing the heart of the true problem.

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