Another Deadly Attack…Should We Ban Pit Bulls?

Mar 31, 2009 5:32pm

ABC’s Terry McCarthy from Los Angeles:

Yet again a child is killed by a pit bull attack — a 7 month-old was killed by two pit bulls in San Antonio, TX, today, as his grandmother, who owned the dogs, went to fetch his bottle from the kitchen. She came back to find the dogs attacking the boy, and was unable to get them off the child before he was dead. A pit bull also attacked a 4 year old boy this morning near Washington, DC.  Luckily he survived.

Should we ban pit bulls?

Pit bulls were bred for dogfighting, fight with little or no provocation and have a high tolerance for pain. Unlike guard dogs like German shepherds they don’t attempt to simply restrain their opponents by biting and holding — they try to inflict maximum damage by biting, holding, shaking and tearing.

According to the CDC, between 1979 and 1996, 279 people in the United States were killed by dogs. Of these, 60 were killed by pitbulls with rottweilers coming in second at 29.

In the U.S. they are banned in a number of municipalities and some counties, including Denver CO, Springfield MO, and Dade County FL. But internationally there are far more sweeping bans — they are banned completely in Ontario, Canada and in Australia, France, UK, Norway, Italy, Denmark, China, New Zealand.

There are vociferous advocates on each side of the debate in the U.S. about a wider ban on pit bulls,  which are still used for clandestine fighting here.  Nearly 50 pitbulls were confiscated from Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation in 2007.

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