Animal protection groups support Centre's proposed ban on foreign dog breeds

The proposal aims to ban the sale and breeding of 23 breeds of ferocious dogs amid rising instances of people dying due to pet dog attacks

Fila Brasileiro (left) and dogo Argentino (photo: NH)
Fila Brasileiro (left) and dogo Argentino (photo: NH)


In a united front, 21 animal protection organisations have expressed strong support for the central government's proposed ban on Pit Bulls and similar foreign dog breeds amid surge in illegal dog fighting and attacks, a statement said on Monday, 1 July.

According to the statement, these groups include names such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and Samayu, among others.

The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, on 2 May, sought public comments on its 12 March circular, which was addressed to the chief secretaries of all states and Union territories.

The proposal aims to ban the sale and breeding of 23 breeds of ferocious dogs, including Pitbull Terrier, American Bulldog, Rottweiler and Mastiffs, amid rising instances of people dying due to pet dog attacks.

The central government's proposal aims to stop Pit Bull-type breeds from being torn apart in illegal dogfights and protect citizens from being attacked by dogs bred to be unstoppable weapons, Shaurya Agrawal, Advocacy Associate at PETA India, said in the statement.

"Animal protection groups support the central government's effort to protect these vulnerable dog breeds, who are sold by breeders without warning that they were bred to be aggressive and used in fights, Agrawal said.

Pit Bulls and similar breeds are the most abused, often kept on heavy chains as attack dogs, leading to aggressive and defensive behaviours. Many of these dogs endure illegal physical mutilations, such as ear-cropping and tail-docking, to prevent injuries during fights. Injured dogs from these illegal fights are rarely taken to veterinarians, one another organisation member said.

Despite the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which makes inciting dogs to fight illegal, organised dogfights have become prevalent in parts of India.

India faces an issue with stray animals, with 80 million dogs and cats suffering on the streets and many more in overcrowded shelters, it said.

Pit Bulls and related breeds are frequently abandoned, with unsuspecting buyers unaware of the breeds' aggressive origins.

Developed in the UK for dog fighting, Pit Bulls have since been banned in numerous countries due to their history and tendencies.

Severe and fatal attacks are becoming common in India.

Recent incidents include a 45-year-old women Prantiya Rakshak Dal jawan critically injured by a Pit Bull in Baraut, a five-year-old girl attacked by Rottweilers in Chennai and several other severe attacks have been reported in Ghaziabad, Delhi and Lucknow.

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