by Steve Dale
Breed Specific Bans have done nothing to lessen dog bites in Norfolk, England. In fact, the number of people requiring hospital treatment for dog bites has increased by almost a third since the breed bans went into affect. Clearly, the breed bans didn't do what they were supposed to.
One public official described the situation concerning dog bites "astonishing." Chris Huhne, a Democratic home secretary, added that the dangerous dog act is one of the most ineffective pieces of legislation of recent years - costing millions and is completely unworkable.
The Dangerous Dogs Act in Norfolk defines a dangerous dog as Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa or any other dog that appears to have been bred for fighting (including all the other Bull Terrier breeds). The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, also banned because it is considered a dangerous breed, was ironically once called 'the Nanny Dog' in the UK because the breed tends be so incredibly good with kids.
The Pit Bull issue is a complex problem in the U.S. because SO many bad guys have been breeding erratic temperaments for so long...Yes, I said it, the sad reality is that some Pit Bulls do have questionable genetic personality defects, but then again so do all breeds - even Chihuahuas. (I realized that larger, stronger dogs can do more damage).
Public officials have historically liked to implement breed bans, they're far easier to legislate than people bans. Unable to do anything about gangs and social problems, it's politically expedient to blame the dogs - and for a time, the public was buying it. But breed bans don't work. And meanwhile, a light bulb went on as the Michael Vick's dogfighting story unraveled. Most people now understand that dogs are victims. Deal with the dangerous people and idiotically irresponsible dog owners, and the "Pit Bull problem," which was never really a problem because of Pit Bulls, will magically go away.