Monday, October 8, 2012

Political Recklessness

On rare occasions SRUV departs from our customary format to reprint a column or editorial we believe is essential reading. The following excerpts are reprinted from Pit Bulls and Political Recklessness, the lead editorial of the September 2012 edition of Animal People. The full article can be accessed here.
* * * * *

. . . . Pit bulls over the past 30 years have increased from 2% of shelter dog intake and 5% of shelter dog killing to 30% of shelter dog intake and 60% of the killing.

Yet, instead of endorsing ordinances modeled after the San Francisco success, most national humane organizations and many local counterparts reflexively and paradoxically oppose breed-specific legislation in any form--in effect running interference on behalf of pit bull breeders and dogfighters.

* * * * *

. . . . The paradox of humane organizations opposing mandatory pit bull sterilization is that they are saying, in effect, that while the humane community contends that the births of all other dogs, and cats, should be limited to the numbers for whom good homes exist, there should be unlimited pit bull breeding, regardless of the availability of any homes. Reality is that almost a third of the total U.S. pit bull population enters animal shelters each year, and more than 85% of these dogs are killed from lack of safe adoption prospects, at the average age of 18 months. Yet invoking legislation to help curtail the surplus births producing this appalling waste of life is opposed as "breed discrimination."

* * * * *

. . . . A common mantra of pit bull advocates is "ban the deed, not the breed," meaning that legislation should take a punitive rather than preventive approach to addressing dog attacks, dogfighting, the use of dogs as weapons, and reckless dog care. Either banning pit bulls or mandating sterilization seeks to prevent the problems resulting from pit bull proliferation by preventing the proliferation itself. "Banning the deed" means that breeders remain free to produce pit bulls, while more severe punishment is meted out to those people whose pit bulls physically harm others, or others' pets, or who engage in dogfighting and other criminal behavior using pit bulls.

The difference in approach between banning the deed and banning the breed is in gist the difference between the libertarian approach to government, which holds that people should be allowed to do whatever they wish, so long as they are held responsible for the consequences, and legislative approaches putting the needs of the community first, practiced by everyone else on the political spectrum.

* * * * *

Google News Today's pit bull attacks

Send comments and corrections to safeisland911 [@]