Ethics Alarms is about ethics. It is about what is right, wrong and how to decide which. Here, we go where the facts, ethical systems, valuable and logic take us, as convoluted as the process may be. There is no other cause, here. occasionally I have pointed out a developing case of ethics perverted, and by dint of timing or good fortune, it has had some tangible effect. The Sweet Brier College rescue was such an example, I am told. There have been others.
The cruel and ignorant persecution of dog breeds grouped under the category of “pit bulls’ and the “dangerous breed” litigation that has been passed by hysterics bullying craven legislators is another ethics issue that Ethics Alarms has tried to alert the public about for years. I am not an activist however; the idea of labeling something as wrong is meant as education. If it also engages activism, that is a bonus. Activism in pursuit of a more ethical society is an unequivocal good, much to be desired by us all. In addition to spur much needed activism, the dog breed bias story is also unusually relevant to other issues: racism, genocide, ignorance, government over-reach, gun control, profiling, fear-mongering, misinformation, cowardice among elected officials…it’s a long list. There will be more about this issue in coming months.
New commenter sadingo advances the issue with a discussion of pit bull banning in Great Britain. Here is his Comment of the Day on the post Unethical Website Of The Month: DogsBite.org.:
In 1991 Great Britain passed “The Dangerous Dog act” and pit bulls were banned from the British Isles. This was because they “thought” them to be so dangerous. They not only banned the breed but the authorities went around measuring the muzzles of dogs, and did an overall check on dogs all over the country and if they thought the dog was a pit bull or PART pit bull they killed them. I saw pictures of the aftermath. It was horrific. Thousands upon thousands of dog bodies in huge piles …DEAD. Many were not pit bull at all but “looked” too close to the breed to be allowed to live. So, after this nightmare and they have “cleansed” their country of the evil pit bull and Staffordshire Terrier…Twenty years go by and some number crunching got done.
The authorities in charge of this crap wanted to show the public how well they had done at lowering dog attacks and dog bites etc. However the report came back and the numbers were terrifying. Dog attacks and bites had NOT decreased…as a matter of fact they had INCREASED! “HOW COULD THAT BE??” thought those who pushed the horrible breed banning legislation. The answer is simple: these idiots never dealt with the real problem (which was NEVER the pit bulls to begin with)! The ISSUE was and IS the human beings that get dogs and abuse them, don’t train them, don’t socialize them, FIGHT THEM, neglect them… Get the picture? They hadn’t done a DAMN thing to deal with the real issue which is human beings being irresponsible, abusive and evil.
IF, twenty years ago, they had passed a law insisting that any person who owns a dog HAS to go through the same thing one has to go through to get a drivers license—Classes, training, testing.. etc? The dog attack/bite situation in the UK would be massively lower. But NO. Instead of passing a law that required dog owners to be humane and decent, dog owners they killed off tens of thousands of innocent animals.
In the end the research showed the same people who had owned “pit bulls” that had bitten people NOW owned LABRADORS that bit people. The same people who fought their pit bulls in illegal fights are now fighting OTHER breeds of dogs. All the issues that should have been addressed were never addressed at all and “dangerous dogs” remain a problem in the UK. The truth is this: There was never a dog born that is “dangerous.” Where the REAL danger lies is with the human being who owns the dog. IT is the humans who don’t do their job of raising their pup correctly, give it the love it needs, socialize it, care for it, take the time to train it. The worst part is …It’s not that hard to do and there are so many resources to help the novice dog owner. Most every adult ed centre has dog training and “good citizenship” classes. The cost is very responsible. There are even professional dog trainers that give classes on a sliding scale and some even give free classes for people having financial issues IF one would only take the time to do the research!
Furthermore, dogs, compared to children, are a cinch! They respond quickly to praise and cuddles and they LOVE to learn! A dog with a job is a happy doggy. Training a pup to bring in the newspaper or pick things up off the floor to help clean up .. They love this stuff! It gives them a sense of purpose. The UK COULD have been a leader in this area by requiring people to be decent dog owners. Instead they chose to kill innocent animals and let the culprits off the hook – the evil, abusive, neglectful human beings. In the end the numbers showed the truth of their stupidity. More dog bites and more dog attacks, not fewer… And then there are the tens of thousands of dead canines buried in mass graves. Dogs who did nothing wrong except to be born a misunderstood and maligned breed.