New Delhi: In response to the news that a 10-year old was mauled by a pit bull in a Ghaziabad park today, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has renewed its call to the Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Shri Parshottam Rupala to make an urgent amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017.
This news comes on the heels of other recent pit bull attacks – in Meerut, where a teenager was critically injured by a pit bull; in Lucknow, where an elderly woman was mauled to death by a pit bull; and in Gurugram, where a woman sustained serious injuries in a pit bull attack – all within the last two months. PETA India is seeking change to prohibit the keeping and breeding of foreign “bully breeds” bred for fighting and aggression, such as pit bulls. The group is also seeking the closure of illegal pet shops and breeders and a crackdown on illegal dogfights throughout the nation.
PETA India recommends that the ban on pit bull–type dogs be achieved by requiring owners to declare breeds placed on the prohibited list for mandatory sterilisation and government registration within a month of the issuance of a directive by states and union territories as well as by prohibiting any new dogs of these breeds from being bred, kept, or sold after a stipulated date immediately following the completion of that month.
PETA India Veterinary Policy Advisor Dr Nithin Krishnegowda says, “This attack on a child is the latest in a series of wake-up calls that if India continues to allow dogs typically used for cruel human exploits such as criminal dogfighting to be bred, more people will get hurt. A prohibition on all breeds used for unlawful fighting is the need of the hour and would protect these dogs from being born only to face cruelty and suffering and protect many humans, too.”
In India, inciting dogs to fight is illegal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Yet organised dogfights are prevalent in parts of North India, making pit bull–type dogs and others used in these fights the most abused dog breeds. Pit bulls are commonly bred to be used in illegal fighting or kept on heavy chains as attack dogs, resulting in a lifetime of suffering. Many endure painful physical mutilations such as ear-cropping – an illegal process that involves removing part of a dog’s ears to prevent another dog from grabbing them during a fight. These dogs are encouraged to continue fighting until they become exhausted and at least one is seriously injured or dies.
In the UK, it’s against the law to keep pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogos Argentinos, and Fila Brasileiros – breeds banned because they are traditionally used for illegal dogfighting, bred and trained for aggression, and commonly abused. Similarly, in Australia, breeds prohibited in the UK as well as Perro de Presa Canarios are restricted, and in Germany, pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, and Staffordshire bull terriers cannot be imported.
PETA India warns that most pet shops and breeders are illegal, as they aren’t registered with their state animal welfare boards. They also typically deprive dogs of proper veterinary care and adequate food, exercise, affection, and opportunities for socialisation. PETA India encourages those with the time, patience, love, and resources to welcome a dog into their home to adopt an Indian community dog, known for their loving nature, from an animal shelter or the streets.