Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tasmania Attempting to Phase Out Pit Bulls

Tasmania is an Australian island state located off the southern coast of the country. It has a population of 500,000, which ends up putting it as the 6th most population of the six states and two territories.

It is really concerned about the 500 Pit Bulls on the island. So concerned that they passed legislation to phase out the dogs. They cannot be bred. They must be castrated. Animals must be muzzled and on a short lead.

My favorite is owners/guardians have to post this sign, which appears to depict a non Pit Bull dog:
I am sarcastic when I say "favorite". The sign is offensive.

Breed specific legislation isn't new to Australia. With the exception of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, every state restricts one or more breeds, all of them include Pit Bull type dogs. Fifteen years ago, Australia banned the importation of Pit Bulls. Most other states ban the breeding of Pit Bulls.

Have no fear, though, the Tasmanian Council has a FAQ on this new law. Cross breeds won't be included. This is magic. If I say Mina is a cross-breed, but the "trained" officials say otherwise, who is to be believed? If Mina does not have a paper pedigree, how can anyone say with certainty she is or is not a Pit Bull. Officials have confused the following dogs for Pit Bulls: Rhodesian Ridgeback, Catahoula/Great Dane/Not Pit Bull Mixed Breed, Boxer, Cur dog, Curly-tailed mixed breeds, Boxer again, Boxer mix. I have to wonder if Tasmanian "trained" officials will take their cues from the likes of Ontario, in which animal control officers are so knowledgeable they can make a pie chart of breed composition, this dog is 75% Pit Bull. Or maybe they'll call up Denver and ask how superb their identification system is and how it feels killing nice, family dogs. And if a dog is a cross-breed Pit Bull, does that count as a Pit Bull or a cross-breed? Tell me, Tasmania, tell me!

Now, of the 98 dogs in Tasmania to receive the dangerous dog label, 13 were Pit Bulls. That's maybe 2% of all Pit Bulls. That means an amazing 98% of Pit Bulls are not biting people. The dangerous dog label also applies to dogs who bite other animals.

I'm not sure what Tasmania gains with breed specific legislation. They will lose money. Dogs will die unnecessarily. Safety will not improve. This has yet to occur with most dog laws that address physical appearance over education and behavior.

1 comment:

Jennie Bailey said...

I know this is horrible, but I can't stop laughing over that sign. I have to laugh or I will get angry. I think what I find most ridiculous about it is that the dog on that stupid sign looks like a german shepherd to me. So having a pit bull, I would have to post that sign that looks like a separate breed on my fence.

I <3 your blog. It's a highlight of day no matter what you are posting about!