The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) says reclassifying pit bulls as wild animals rather than domestic pets is not the best way to control them, following calls for a ban on the power breed following a series of attacks across the country.
After a 10-year-old boy from Gqeberha was killed by his family’s two pit bulls, the Sizwe Kupelo Foundation launched an online petition to have pit bulls banned as domestic pets.
Several children and adults have been killed by pit bulls this year, while others have been seriously injured, sparking a heated debate about responsible pet ownership in South Africa.
There is already a huge competency gap between ourselves and nature conservationists. We are unable to inspect all wildlife facilities. We will not get that right if you take pit bulls and impose those regulations. Dog licencing was originally intended to control dog movements and diseases. That is no longer the case. “We cannot reclassify domestic animals as wild,” he explained.
According to Nazareth Appalsamy of the NSPCA, animal owners must take responsibility and socialise their pets to prevent attacks. He stated that chaining dogs or confining them to separate areas away from communities did not create conducive environments for them to thrive.
“We always promote the need for freedom, for love and attention, for food and water,” Appalsamy said.
According to Burger Huyser Attorneys’ Lungelo Mokoena, dog owners are responsible for their pets and any harm they may cause to others. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding the attack, owners may be able to contest actions taken against their animals.