Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pit Bull Terror

Like others, I have not been able to keep up the blog the last few weeks. I am jumping on the "journaling" bandwagon, since I found this article on . I've only included the abstract and the conclusion. Take a look at the website and some its links: .

The pit bull terrier: a dangerous or a defamed breed?
School of Human and Environmental Studies,University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351.
After more than a century as America's icon dog the American Pit Bull Terrier since 1980 has developed a notorious reputation as a dangerous breed with consequent restrictions placed upon it by various jurisdictions in Australia and elsewhere. Studies in the USA have indicated that the "pit bull" is responsible for a large proportion of human fatalities resulting from dog attack, but their data are flawed by methodological shortcomings. Data on frequency of dog attacks by breed in Australia reveal the pit bull terrier to be exceeded by several other breeds. Of about 14 human fatalities in Australia over the last two decades, none has involved a dog verified to be a pit bull terrier. The evidence does not sustain the view that this is a uniquely or particularly aggressive and dangerous breed, and there is no support in its attack record for breed specific laws aimed to control it. Dogs are kept by approximately forty percent of Australian households. They confer many benefits upon their owners and are a source of great emotional satisfaction to a large number of people. Dogs are also a threat to the community in that their bites injure a large number of people every year. A small number of these attacks cause very serious human injuries, and even fatalities. Dog attacks, then, represent a significant public safety issue that needs to be addressed by state and local governments.

Dog attacks are a significant public safety issue in Australia, as elsewhere. However, a tiny minority of the dogs in our communities bite people in any given year. The available data show clearly that the American Pit Bull Terrier is not involved in more attacks or serious attacks on people than other breeds - indeed, it is well down the lists of frequency of attack by breed. In America in the 1980s, the decade of the "pit bull panic", with an estimated pit bull population of 500,000 - I million,49 accepting the most damning figures, in any given year one pit bull in 62,500 to 125,000 killed a person. The average American person was at least five times more likely to murder somebody. The case that the APBT is an especially dangerous dog is not convincing. Though American data lend some support to this view, they are so seriously flawed as to be unreliable, and the sociology of the human-dog relationship is probably more important than inherited breed disposition. In Australia the available data show the APBT to be less dangerous than several other breeds in absolute numbers of attacks on people. There are no data available to assess breed attack rates relative to breed populations, so a definitive judgement on the relative danger of various breeds must be suspended. What emerges clearly from analysis of available data is the fact that attacks are committed by a small proportion of individuals of any breed.


At Wednesday, February 22, 2006 3:30:00 PM, Blogger Idun said...

Sulu Bulu looks too cute with those crooked front teeth - what a sweetie!


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