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Pit bulls not for average Joe’s! SPCA calls for govt to urgently introduce permit system

Pit bulls not for average Joe’s! SPCA calls for govt to urgently introduce permit system

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Cape Town – The National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) says there is an urgent need for government intervention on the issue of pit bull attacks.

This follows recent campaigns to ban the breed in South Africa that have received overwhelming support.

There have been several tragic attacks on kids during the past few weeks. In the most recent incident, a child from East London was fatally mauled by a pit bull on Wednesday.

Speaking to Newzroom Afrika, NSPCA spokesperson, Keshvi Nair, said it was tragic that lives were being lost.

“At the end of the day we need to discuss what the issue at hand is, and we want a country where people don’t live in fear of being attacked by dogs. We don’t need to read the headlines of children being mauled to death by dogs,” she said.

Nair said that getting rid of one particular breed of dogs was not going to reduce the number of dog attacks.

She said they were against the banning of the breed, however, they do strongly believe that there was an urgent need for stronger regulations and controls covering the breeding and keeping of these animals.

“When we look at the pit bull breed we have reiterated time and again that this breed of dog should only be owned by people who have relevant experience, expertise and knowledge on the breed.

“Pit bulls do have the capacity to be very loving family pets but they also have the capacity to do immense damage, as we have seen. Again we say these dogs should not be owned by just normal people, they need to be owned by people who have extensive knowledge of the breed.

“When talking about dog attacks we also need to take into account that any other animal is capable of attacking as well.”

She said people should not detract from the fact that other breeds of dogs have also killed people and caused serious damage.

Nair said one of the biggest problems is that it is far too easy to get a pit bull and that’s where the government needs to come in to provide stronger regulations.

“Owning a pit bull has become a power symbol and it has been too easy for this type of dog to be owned by the wrong people, and when it comes to the ownership of these dogs a lot is needed to be done, like some sort of preventative legislation because right now the only legislation in place is the animal act and municipal by-laws.”

She said that when they speak of strong regulations they speak about ensuring permitting and licensing that will take into account where the dog comes from and what it is used for, and ensuring that the animals are sterilised and castrated.

“These permits and licences should be made available to SPCAs and all other animal welfare organisations,” Nair added.

In a statement on Thursday, the SPCA urged dog owners to surrender their dogs if they no longer wish to keep them as opposed to allowing the animals to roam the streets and potentially meet cruel fate.

The animal welfare organisation also added that even though its mandate is prevention of cruelty to animals and promoting good animal care, the SPCA also values human lives.

“Not only do people suffer from dog attacks, other animals are also victims and have been mauled to death…This is an issue where both human and animal lives have been placed in danger by irresponsible people who lack the skills and knowledge required to handle power breeds.”



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