Discussion on the pros and cons of pit bull banning after multiple children are killed by pit bulls in South Africa in under two weeks. A third child is killed by a pit bull just after this episode aired.
Discussion in South Africa
Here in North America, we need to be having this discussion openly, given the amount of attacks by pit bulls. Clearly, these discussions have been had in countries where pit bulls have been banned and excluded from entering the country. Numerous voices were heard during this one hour program -- the panel discussion starts at 25:45.
What is not covered in this discussion is that pit bulls are overwhelmingly the most likely dogs to attack livestock and other domestic pets.
South Africa recently suffered a spate of pit bulls slaughtering and maiming children. In some cases there's been a vigilante response from the community, especially in cases where Animal Control or the police did not adequately respond to the threat that pit bulls guilty of a deathly mauling, posed to the rest of the community.
A common thread in the discussion is how pit bulls are seen as a form of protection dog. Yet, there is no discussion of how they are any better at protection work than a dog bred and trained to perform such duties or proof they were ever trained at all. Is that just what the owners believe without providing any actual demonstration of fitness to that purpose? Apparently, South Africa has a high crime rate and that's the oft-cited reason for such a high amount of pit bull ownership. Clearly, they're cheap and accessible due to over-breeding.
If we're going to have these discussions, we need to ask the hard questions, too.
For all the areas uncoverable by an hour-long show, it's a program we are unlikely to see any time soon in North America.
Sizwe Kupelo of the Sizwe Kupelo Foundation created a petition calling on the South African government to ban the breed after a 10-year old boy was killed by two family pit bulls in September in Nelson Mandela Bay. The petition has received over 125,000 signatures so far.