A Brilliant Mind
Vancouver, B.C. - A well-written article by Adam Perry has been published in the Vancouver Sun about the public safety need to ban pit bulls. Over the past 8 months, the B.C. area has had a number of pit bull attacks, in addition to the multi-attacking pit bulls -- a single pit bull owner with a pack of dogs that has attacked innocent people and pets on at least 8 different occasions.
A Ban on the Breed is the Solution to the Pit Bull Problem
"Imagine a company seeking government approval to sell a newly invented vehicle. Call it the explocar.
The explocar is like a normal car in all ways except one: Sometimes, it explodes without warning, injuring people nearby. A few customers nonetheless prefer the explocar to a normal car. They like how it looks, and find the danger exciting.
Should the government approve the explocar for sale? Of course not. The pleasure of driving the explocar doesn't make up for the danger it poses. This thinking underlies many of our product safety laws.
Now, replace explocar with pit bull and you have the current choice facing British Columbians. The pit bull is a dangerous dog, with safe substitutes. The vicious attack by a pack of pit bulls in Surrey last week is only the latest example of a pattern of violence that has led many other governments, including Ontario in 2004 and Manitoba in 1990, to ban pit bulls. It's time for our province to do the same.
Let's start with a few facts. The pit bull is descended from the now-extinct English bulldogge, used in packs to tear apart bulls for the pleasure of a crowd. Trainers discovered they could create a tough and fearless dog by crossbreeding the bulldogge with breeds known for their "gameness," or courage. These crossbreeds -- strong, aggressive, and relentless -- were ideal for dogfights, often held in pits. No wonder, then, pit bulls are so good at killing other dogs.
Generations of selective breeding have given the pit bull a fearsome physiology. Their shoulder and neck muscles bulge like a body-builder's. With each snap of their jaws, they exert 1,200 pounds of pressure per square inch, 10 times the force exerted by a German Shepherd, Doberman or Rottweiler. That's enough to snap bones, puncture abdomens and rip limbs off.
As scary as this sounds, it gets worse. Unlike other dogs, pit bulls often don't growl or bark before attacking. When they do attack, they're almost impossible to stop.
In the incident that prompted Ontario's ban, a pit bull continued to attack a woman even while a man repeatedly hit it over the head with a hockey stick.
This single-mindedness leads to comparisons between pit bulls and sharks; that, and the way pit bulls bite and shake their jaws from side to side, instead of biting and holding, as other dogs do. Their goal is not to restrain, but to injure.
That pit bulls are dangerous, and more dangerous than other dogs, is now pretty well accepted. Why, then, do we allow pit bulls in our cities?"
Perry goes on to add that irresponsible owners should always be held accountable, but that targeting dog owners after a violent attack is not enough. No matter how severe the penalties, some people will always fail to control their dogs, whether intentionally or negligently. When they fail, it is better that their uncontrolled dog is a poodle rather than a pit bull.
Like the Ontario pit bull ban, the B.C. ban could prohibit breeding new pit bulls or bringing new pit bulls into B.C. Pit bulls currently registered could be grand-fathered in, provided they are sterilized, and leashed and muzzled when outside. Such policies, he writes, would not amount to "canine ethnic cleansing," as many pit bull owners allege.
10/24/08: Ontario Court Of Appeals Upholds Province's Pit Bull Ban
07/31/08: Coverage of Pit Bull Attacks and SPCA Issues in Surrey, BC
03/02/08: Ontario Pit Bull Ban Greatly Reduces Bite Count