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Thread: The APBT, Breed Specific Legislation, and research (ricey's new thread)

  1. #1
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    Default The APBT, Breed Specific Legislation, and research (ricey's new thread)

    Hi all,

    Hyacinth has recommended on this thread (http://www.dogforum.com.au/bsl-dog-l...t-bull-29.html) that we should start a new thread on this topic and I'd have to agree.

    So, what I am proposing is that we start up this new thread under the following guidelines:

    1. We only post here if we can quote a reputable scientific research paper(s) that backs up our post. Quoting from Wikipedia and the whole range of APBT & BSL web sites out there really is not good enough unless you can reference at least one scientific journal article.
    2. We keep this civil and non emotive.
    3. There is no guideline number 3.

    What I am hoping for this thread is that it becomes a resource that we can use and refer to when we need information about the subject matter of the thread title. If you find a research article about the APBT (or any of the other 4 restricted breeds) that you think we would be interested in, then post it here. If you find a research article about breed specific legislation, then post it here. If you find a research article or position paper that references a whole load of related research articles, then post it here.

    To kick this off, here is a link to the Australian Veterinary association's position paper on 'Dangerous Dogs' and what to do about this problem.

    http://www.ava.com.au/sites/default/...on%20FINAL.pdf

    Here is a link to the abstract of one of the studies cited in the AVA position paper:

    Elsevier (Is there a difference? Comparison of golden retrievers and dogs affected by breed-specific legislation regarding aggressive behavior)

    Comparing the results of golden retrievers and breeds affected by the legislation, no significant difference was found. A scientific basis for breed specific lists does not exist. Therefore, legislation in Lower Saxony was changed, and breed lists were withdrawn.
    This is the sort of information I hope we can share on this thread. Of course, if there is research out there that supports BSL, this should be aired here too.

    Cheers,

    ricey
    The APBT is the best of the best dogs (but it is just a dog, like any other breed of dog)

    My avatar? It's a pit bull in a poodle suit (a bit like me really)

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    I think it is going to be hard to find results like these in only scientific journals.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by goindeep View Post
    I think it is going to be hard to find results like these in only scientific journals.
    results like what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mymatejack View Post
    results like what?
    The OP is saying he only wants users to post reputable scientific research papers. In other words, results.

    Scientific papers are based around results of research.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by goindeep View Post
    The OP is saying he only wants users to post reputable scientific research papers. In other words, results.

    Scientific papers are based around results of research.
    Yes, goindeep is right; I only want results from validated scientific research. I thought that would remove the emotion from the debate and help us deal only in facts. There is a lot of relevant research out there though. The AVA position paper alone cited 84 references, of which around 60 are validated scientific research articles published in reputable scientific journals.

    It is fairly easy to chase up the abstract for a particular article. All you have to do is copy and paste its title into Google. The only problem is that you will just get the abstract to read; if you want the whole article you will have to pay for it. Still, the abstract does give a succinct account of the research's findings. In the example I gave (elsevier) you would have to pay $15 for the whole article as a PDF. However, you get access to the articles references for free, so that gives you another list of relevant research articles.

    So, I am on the hunt; I'll keep you posted.

    Cheers,

    ricey
    The APBT is the best of the best dogs (but it is just a dog, like any other breed of dog)

    My avatar? It's a pit bull in a poodle suit (a bit like me really)

  6. #6
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    OK, most of us who have been involved with the issues surrounding breed specific legislation and the American Pit Bull Terrier would know about the research by Dr Stephen Collier of the School of Human and Environmental Studies, University of New England, Armidale, NSW in 2006.

    If any of you have not read his work, I recommend that you do. His full article (as published in Journal of Veterinary Behavior (2006) 1, 17-22) is hosted by the 'stopbsl' wordpress site. As such, you can get to read the full article, not just the abstract.

    http://stopbsl.files.wordpress.com/2...ljustified.pdf

    Here's a quote from the abstract:

    Of 19 human fatalities in Australia over the past
    two decades, none has involved a dog verified to be an American pit bull terrier. The evidence does not
    sustain the view that this is a uniquely dangerous breed, and breed-specific laws aimed to control it have
    not been demonstrated by authorities to be justified by its attack record.
    Cheers,

    ricey
    The APBT is the best of the best dogs (but it is just a dog, like any other breed of dog)

    My avatar? It's a pit bull in a poodle suit (a bit like me really)

  7. #7
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    OK, I think I am going to have to widen my terms of reference here. Apart from published scientific research articles, I'd like to include articles that are published in reputable scientific journals that review and interpret the current state of research and evidence (rather than conduct the research themself). I think possibly I was being too restrictive, as pointed out by goindeep.

    Cheers,

    ricey
    The APBT is the best of the best dogs (but it is just a dog, like any other breed of dog)

    My avatar? It's a pit bull in a poodle suit (a bit like me really)

  8. #8
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    Hi all,

    This abstract is interesting:

    Dog bites in The Netherlands: a study of victims, injuries, circumstances and aggressors to support evaluation of breed specific legislation.
    Dog bites in The Netherlands: a study of victims, inju... [Vet J. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI

    The title is a little misleading; here is a quote from the abstract,

    For aggressors, attack records for breed groups and popular breeds were established by calculating breed risk indices using a reference population. Several breeds and breed groups were over- and under-represented in the biting population and there was a mismatch between risk indices and the then-current legislation. Mitigation strategies should not be based on attack records (since this would lead to the rejection of a significant proportion of the canine population) but on the circumstances of the incidents. Preventative measures must focus on a better understanding of how to handle dogs.
    In particular, I'd like to highlight
    Mitigation strategies should not be based on attack records (since this would lead to the rejection of a significant proportion of the canine population) but on the circumstances of the incidents.
    In essence, I'd suggest that they are saying that understanding the circumstances surrounding dog attacks is a more successful means to reducing dog attacks.

    Cheers,

    ricey
    The APBT is the best of the best dogs (but it is just a dog, like any other breed of dog)

    My avatar? It's a pit bull in a poodle suit (a bit like me really)

  9. #9
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    Ok, this paper is a gem; its title is

    On Treating the Symptoms and not the Cause
    Reflections on the Dangerous Dogs Act
    Maria Kaspersson, University of Greenwich

    Here is the abstract:

    Abstract
    The experience of saving a dog that later turned out to be a Pit Bull and therefore banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, made me investigate the Act and its implications. The Act is not built on evidence and by compiling results from different studies on dog bites and breed‐specific legislation in different countries the conclusion is that there is not much empirical support for breed bans either. ‘Dangerous breeds’ do not bite more frequently than German Shepherds and directing legislation towards certain breeds deemed as ‘dangerous’ cannot therefore be seen as justified. The strength of the label ‘dangerous dog’ seems to rule out policies that follow the facts and there is more treating of symptoms than causes.
    pc
    Here is the link to the full article (be warned; it is 25 pages long but it is well worth reading)

    http://britsoccrim.org/volume8/13Kaspersson08.pdf

    It was presented at the 8th British Criminology Conference of 2008; while it is not an article detailing new research findings it is certainly a well constructed literature review that details the flimsy reasons for enacting the UK Dangerous Dog Act of 1991. We should remember that Australias Restricted Breed legislation was based almost entirely on this flawed piece of legislation.

    Here are a few quotes from this article:

    Ultimately, the aim of breed‐specific legislation is to eliminate the banned breed (Baker, 1993; Collier, 2006) and without Pit Bulls, many believe, everything would be safe on the dog front. People opposing breed‐specific legislation crudely call it ‘doggy genocide’ (Labonté, 2005a).
    On the other hand, the breeds that bite the most are also among the most common, so the proportion of the breed that poses a risk is small. Collier (2006) provides data from Australia regarding the percentages of breeds that are reported to have attacked. According to his data, 0.2 percent of German Shepherds and Rottweilers have attacked, 0.1 per cent of Staffordshire Bull Terriers and 1 per cent of Pit Bull Terriers. One has to bear in mind, however, that this is a percentage of the number of registered dogs, and more Pit Bulls than dogs of other breeds are not registered (Barnes et al., 2006; Collier, 2006), so it might be that Pit Bulls do not attack at any rate higher than other commonly attacking breeds (Hinkle, no date). Collier (2006) claims that the better approach would be to declare dangerous individuals of certain breeds, i.e. concentrate on the deed and not the breed.
    Regarding child victims of dog bites, in Belgium Kahn et al. (2003) and De Keuster et al. (2006) (Table 8) found that ‘dangerous dogs’ such as Pit Bulls and Rottweilers were not the most frequent biters of children. Controlling one or a few breeds in breed‐specific legislation ignores the true scope of the problem and causes a false sense of accomplishment. Labelling breeds as ‘dangerous’ and banning them does not entail a responsible approach to protecting the community and its citizens (De Keuster et al., 2006).
    The answer to the question whether ‘dangerous breeds’ bite at a rate justifying singling out for breed‐specific legislation is therefore ‘no.’ ‘Dangerous breeds’ do not bite at significantly higher rates and their singling out for bans is therefore not justified. Instead, there are adverse effects of breed‐specific legislation as it gives the illusion of tackling a problem, when it in practice only addresses a limited number of symptoms. It also has a labelling and stigmatising effect and there are speculations ‐ and some research (Barnes et al., 2006) ‐ indicating that one result of banning Pit Bulls has been that they have become even more attractive to the ‘wrong’ people (Labonté, 2005b; Barnes et al., 2006). Responsible behaviour is not encouraged by banning certain breeds, rather the opposite.
    Breed‐specific legislation is often influenced by biases in the media and moral panics following fatal dog attacks (Rosado et al., 2007). In studies, breed‐specific legislation has not been proven to effectively diminish either the number of dog bite injuries or the number of fatal attacks (Rosado et al., 2007). Collier (2006:21) asks if ‘laws to extirpate a breed can be justified when, by the worst case data, 90% of its individuals are not recorded to attack a person or animal over their life span’?
    On 9 June 2008 the Dutch government lifted their 25 year ban on Pit Bulls because it had not led to any decreases in the number of bite incidents (Delise, 2008b). So far, there has been no debate or indications that any other country is to follow.
    Finally, there are a lot of stereotypes regarding owners of Pit Bulls and other dogs that can be ‘dangerous’, but there is little knowledge of the typical owner. Research needs to be carried out on these people, because only by knowing who they are and why they own ‘dangerous’ dogs can we establish what needs to be done to encourage responsible ownership. If we are lucky, the current popularity of Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Bull Terriers is merely a trend. As more and more young males get them, there will be saturation and the attraction of owning them will diminish. As Beckett (2008:31) concludes: ‘Tough dogs seem less tough when everyone you know has one.’
    As I said, interesting reading. While I can accept that there may be some accusations of bias as the author owns a rescue pit bull terrier (as I do), I think the strength of her arguements and her reliance on what the research shows us should outweigh any perceived bias.

    Cheers,

    ricey
    The APBT is the best of the best dogs (but it is just a dog, like any other breed of dog)

    My avatar? It's a pit bull in a poodle suit (a bit like me really)

  10. #10
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    Well, it would appear that not too many DogForum people actually are interested in research articles about the APBT or BSL. Only goindeep and mymatejack have bothered to post (and I thank you both).

    I suspect that a lot of you all would just prefer to continue sticking it up eachother. Me, I've had enough of the argy bargy and I think that we should come together. But I think that a lot of you could not give a rat's arse.

    ricey

    EDIT: Apologies for the dummy spit; I'd had a bad day; I am back on message now
    Last edited by ricey; 01-02-2013 at 07:40 PM. Reason: apology for spitting the dummy
    The APBT is the best of the best dogs (but it is just a dog, like any other breed of dog)

    My avatar? It's a pit bull in a poodle suit (a bit like me really)

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