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Amend ‘The Dangerous Dogs Act’
I was pleased to read the Editorial “Sleeping Dogs” which sought to remind the Attorney General of the urgent need to amend the Dangerous Dogs Act 2000, wherever necessary, and to have it proclaimed law as a matter of urgency. While you have emphasised the dangers posed by the Pit Bull breed, a visit to the various “Dangerous Dogs” Web site on the Internet would identify many other breeds which are much larger, and stronger but just as vicious as the pitbull. These are deemed to be “Dangerous Dogs” and are banned from being imported into many if not most “civilised countries”
These dangerous breeds include the “Boerboel” or the South African Mastiff developed to protect sheep, cattle and other livestock from attacks by lions, leopards and other large wild animals. The male Boerboel may be 27 inches tall at the highest point of the body between the shoulder blades and weigh up to 175 pounds.
Similarly the “Fila Brasileiro” the Brazilian Mastiff 30 inches tall and 110 pounds and the “Dogo Argentino” the Argentinian Mastiff developed to protect livestock from attacks by Jaguars , Pumas and other large Wild Animals and for Big Game Hunting, is 26 inches tall and 100 pounds in weight. Then there is the “Presa Canairo” which was developed in the Canary Islands and weighs up to 110 pounds. The “Japanese Tosa” or the “Japanese Fighting Dog” grows up to 24 inches and weighs up to 170 pounds. The above are all very large and powerful dogs.
I am not an expert on dogs and I do not even own a “pot hound” but I am very concerned about the frequency of dog attacks in Trinidad and in Tobago, which have resulted in serious injury and in some cases death to the victims. In the “Dangerous Dogs Law” not only must specific breeds be mentioned but there must also be a clause which states “that any other breed of dog which may be classified as dangerous may be prohibited from being imported.” This to be determined by the minister as advised by a committee comprised of suitably qualified persons.
We need laws to prohibit the importation of dog breeds which are known to be dangerous and to curtail the breeding, sale or exchange of the numerous pitbull terriers, bull terriers, Staffordshire terriers and other dangerous breeds which may already be in our Country. Any new laws must be enforced and there must be Penalties for any breaches of the laws. In the UK the maximum penalty for being in illegal possession of a Dogo Argentino is 5,000 pounds and imprisonment for up to six months. The above information was extracted from various Web sites on the Internet. Be safe, be careful and avoid the dangerous dogs in our communities.
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