Saturday, August 20, 2011

Down Under

Any dog is capable of any act, at any point in time.
  -- Michael Linke, CEO of the RSPCA, Victoria

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Jackline Ancaito and Mawien Chol left Sudan in 2001. After spending three years in Egypt waiting for resettlement they arrived in Australia in 2004. On the evening of August 17 they were in the home of Ms Ancaito's cousin when a pit bull burst into the home and first attacked five-year old Nyadeng. Four-year old Ayen Chol was clinging to her mother's legs when the pit bull focused its attack on her, and ultimately killed her.

Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh said pit bull terriers had ''lost their licence to exist."

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Australian pit bull advocates have proven as adroit as their northern counterparts in the wake of the attack. Dog behaviour specialist Brad Griggs said that governments should abolish breed-specific regulations because pit bulls were not more dangerous than other breeds.

Michael Linke, the Chief Executive Officer of the RSPCA, has warned against any irrational demonisation of the breed. Mr Linke owns a two-year-old pit bull terrier named Dahlia.

Mr Linke went on to characterize Mr Walsh's claim as an  emotional overstatement.  ''Any dog is capable of any act, at any point in time,'' he said.

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A few years ago, when people might mourn the death of a child before defending or excusing the murderer, saner voices prevailed. Former RSPCA president Hugh Wirth said that American pit bull terriers were a menace and not suitable as pets. He described them as "time bombs waiting for the right circumstances".

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Related posts: Premack's Second PrincipleAll Dogs Bite

Sources: The Canberra Times, The Dimboola Courier, and The Newcastle Herald, among others.

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