Letters to the Editor

Will the banning of certain dogs prevent other dog attacks?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Are pit bulls and rottweilers more dangerous than other dogs? These breeds were introduced into Jamaica some years ago but before then people were attacked and killed by other breeds of dogs.

In 1978, I was walking on a sidewalk in Mona Heights when a common mongrel dog reached over a closed four-foot high gate and attacked me.

The problem was that I was forced to pass close to the gate because there was heavy vehicular traffic on the road and a car was parked on the sidewalk.

On another occasion I was bitten by a small mongrel dog that sat beside its owner, whom I foolishly trusted, when he assured me that his dog did not bite and it was safe for me to enter the premises.

I was recently attacked on the street by another mongrel dog that is habitually on the road because its owners have ignored the pleas of numerous pedestrians to raise the height of their gate.

The point is that all animals with teeth are potentially dangerous; should not be on the street; and may attack, bite, and kill humans and each other. None of my dog attacks was by rottweilers or pit bulls.

Even the boxer Mike Tyson deliberately bit off a piece of his opponent's ear. Therefore, should all dogs and professional boxers be banned, or should the ban be restricted to those that look a certain way? I have encountered rottweilers that are more genteel than Mary's little lamb.

Should we only import vehicles that are programmed to be driven below 50 kilometres per hour and ban the importation of faster vehicles that are capable of exceeding the speed limit because most of our road fatalities are due to speeding? Do we ban the importation of loud speakers because we have a Noise Abatement Act that disallows the transmission of noises above a certain level?

Is it the breed of the dog, the character of the boxer, the brand of the vehicle, or irresponsibility on the part of the individuals in charge of these animals and vehicles? Will the banning of certain dogs prevent other dog attacks in the future? To be bitten, mauled and killed by an animal, human or vehicle is indefensible. Ban one, ban all or ban none.

Dr Jennifer Mamby Alexander


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