New Zealand Spca Fighting Against Ban On Pit Bulls
In the response to the government’s proposed ban on re-homing dogs deemed “menacing”, the SPCA has started a petition to oppose any such policies.
They believe by making it illegal for animal shelters to re-home dogs of certain breeds, the Government are effectively condemning them to die.
Acting SPCA New Zealand CEO Andrea Midgen believes breed-specific legislation does not work.
“Evidence shows this legislation does not reduce dog attacks or make communities safer for people or animals,” says Andrea.
“Many countries who have breed specific legislation are repealing these laws – just a few weeks ago the state of Victoria in Australia repealed theirs.”
According to Andrea, the SPCA’s preferred approach is to judge dogs based on their behaviour, not their breed or visual appearance.
“Our view based on the available, international scientific evidence, is that any dog may be dangerous and that dogs should not be declared ‘dangerous’ or ‘menacing’ on the basis of breed alone. We’re not alone in this view.
“The Veterinary Associations and SPCAs of New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Canada and America do not support breed-specific legislation due to being ineffective and not protecting the public from dog attacks.”
She stresses there is no conclusive data on dog bites in relation to breed, although she agrees it is a sensitive issue in the community.
“It’s important to note the Government doesn’t know the true extent of dog bites in New Zealand because there is no central repository of dog bite statistics.
“Dog attacks are a major societal problem requiring a serious and effective long-term solution and our hearts go out to any family that is affected by this.”
Tauranga City Council Animal Service’s Team Leader Brent Lincoln says pit bull-type dogs are disproportionately represented in dog attack prosecutions.
“American pit bulls represent 1.2 per cent of the dog population in Tauranga, but form 40 per cent of the prosecutions for serious attacks, either against people or other domestic animals.”
Brent says the government’s proposal is not final yet, but would be part of the solution to reducing pit bull attacks.
“Council has put up their own recommendations to the government, and we’re currently waiting for a response.”
The SPCA’s petition already has more than 50,000 signatures. Supporters can add theirs here. https://www.change.org/p/the-new-zealand-government-join-spca-s-fight-to-save-innocent-lives
Published By http://www.sunlive.co.nz/