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Ban this monster!
23 November, 2006

GABORONE - The police have advised the Ministry of Agriculture to ban importation, possession and breeding of the American Pit Bull Terrier dogs in the country.

This follows an incident in which three dogs of that breed attacked and killed a middle-aged farm worker at Belabela Farm near Mochudi on November 20. The deceased died on the spot.

It was the second time that the dogs had attacked and brutally killed a person, following an attack on a Zimbabwean man in August incident.

The dogs were put down by Veterinary officers after consulting the owners on Monday.

Deputy Police Commissioner Kenny Kapinga said in an interview that the police management discussed the incident immediately after it occurred and resolved to write to the agriculture ministry.

They advised it to impose a ban on possession, importation and breeding of the dogs because they were dangerous to people and other creatures.

Mr Kapinga said the ban would be in line with the Ministry Act, Chapter 37:01 of the Diseases of Animal Act.

The act empowered the director, veterinary officers, livestock officers and stock inspectors to order any dog or other species of carnivores or monkeys in Botswana to be isolated, muzzled or destroyed.
If the ministry agreed with their suggestion, Mr kapinga said it will, issue an order notifying everyone who owned the breed to surrender it for destruction.

Mr Kapinga said it was important that the breed was banned as it had caused human deaths in the past.

He cited the Broadhurst incident in which a Philippino woman was killed by her dogs and other incidents in which human lives were lost.

He said the breed was long banned in Britain because of its violent behaviour.

I believe that other countries have banned the possession of the dog, he added.

Mr Daniel Zachariah, an expert in dog behaviour at the Botswana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BSPCA) agreed with the police suggestion.

He said there was no reason to keep the breed when it endangered the lives of people.

Mr Zachariah recommended breeds such as the Tswana, German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever as guard dogs.

He said the Tswana breed was easily manageable and resistance to opportunistic diseases.

The Golden Retriever was also a good guard dog and could play with children while the German Shepherd was also a good breed even though it was expensive to keep.

Mr Zachariah said criminality in Botswana was not at a level where Batswana needed to keep dangerous breeds such as the pit bull terrier. BOPA


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