A vicious attack in Surrey today by a dog identified by police as a pit bull has again raised calls for a ban on the breed.
But advocates for the dogs say a ban does nothing but demonize the breed… while hiding the real factors behind aggressive dog behaviour.
April Fahr with HugABull joined Lynda this evening to break down the case against a pit bull ban.
Fahr says there’s no doubt that aggressive dogs are a real problem and should be targeted by legislation… but says a ban misses the real problem.
“Across the globe when you try and implement these laws they don’t work. They’re expensive, they tie up resources, they don’t address the actual problems, and they really just break families apart.”
She says by focusing on breeds, legislators miss what are the real underlying factors behind dog attacks: irresponsible breeding, poor dog management, problem owners, lack of training and restraint, and neutering.
She says 86% of dog attacks are perpetrated by un-neutered dogs.
Fahr says the breed ban idea is the product of media hysteria that’s been whipped up around pit bulls.
She says the three highest profile recent “pit bull” attacks, like the Richmond attack in December that left a woman with 100 bites, all later turned out to be other breeds who wouldn’t have been covered by a ban.
That, she says proves that any breed can be vicious and that the solution is managing the risk factors.
Fahr says instead of focusing on breed, officials should be targeting owners and holding them accountable.
“It’s not addressing the underlying issue, we need to look at all of these factors as they work together and target owners.”
She points to cities like New Westminster and Coquitlam which she says have progressive dog bylaws which touch on how to house, contain, and train the animals.
“And when there’s a problem, whether it’s just a dog lunging at a fence or a dog chasing someone down the street, they intervene early, they enforce, ticket, they make sure that there’s that follow up so that those behaviours aren’t allowed to escalate.”