Dog Expert Biased in Pit Bull Trial
UK - Prosecutors say recent video footage shows Dr Mugford, an animal psychologist, was prepared to tailor his evidence to support a defendant who claimed that his dog was not a pit bull terrier and therefore in danger of being put down under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Dr Mugford was shown agreeing initially that the dog did look like a pit bull but then gradually changing his opinion for his official report. At one stage he said: “This is less like a pit bull by the minute” and then “He is a classic Staffie”
McGowan, 22, of Liverpool, is accused of possessing a prohibited dangerous dog, an American pit bull. On June 17, 2007, Robert and Gary Cupitt, were seen taunting the dog, called Duke, and a Staffordshire terrier called Duchess, trying to hit them with metal ashtrays. Duke broke free from his leash and bit both men before being restrained.
In 1991, the UK enacted the Dangerous Dog Act that banned dogs "bred for fighting," which included the American pit bull terrier, but did not include the Staffordshire bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier for reasons unknown.
In 1936, the American Kennel Club (AKC) agreed to register pit bull dogs, but only under the name Staffordshire terrier. This was done to distance the breed from its dogfighting past. To confuse matters further, in 1972 the breed was renamed the American Staffordshire terrier.
In the US, a "pit bull type dog" defined in legislation most often includes the following breeds: American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, bull terrier, American bulldog and any other pure bred or mixed breed dog that is a combination of these dogs.
DogsBite.org reports Staffordshire attacks in the UK, New Zealand and other areas for the very reason that Staffies and pit bull terriers are practically the same dog. Staffies consistently attack horses as well; a trait that stems back to the pit bull's bull baiting past.