MEDIA RELEASE - When is a Pit Bull not a Pit Bull?
7 April 2010
Dogs Queensland Media Release 7th April 2010
When is a Pit Bull not a Pit Bull?
The Honourable Justice Martin, when considering the evidence presented in the Supreme Court of Queensland yesterday, in the application brought by Ms Kylie Chivers in respect to her dog “Tango” against the Gold Coast City Council, decided that her American Staffordshire Terrier (commonly called an AmStaff) is in fact an American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT).
Pedigreed, registered dogs owned and bred by Dogs Queensland members include AmStaffs and these dogs have many generations of recorded registered pedigree data and are bred specifically for improving type and temperament. These dogs are now far removed from what the community considers to be the typical Pit Bull.
The Australian Government decided to restrict the importation of APBTs in 1956 as many had been bred to work and in some instances (particularly in the United States) that included fighting and it was believed that these dogs would therefore constitute a greater risk to people. This decision has been the subject of much criticism by dog enthusiasts over many years because it is generally believed that breeds should not be banned but the actions by small numbers of aggressive dogs should be penalised. In other words, ban the deed and not the breed.
AmStaffs, whilst originating from a similar genetic background, were developed with an entirely different objective. That objective was to produce a well socialised sound dog suitable to urban living. Our responsible Dogs Queensland member / breeders have worked tirelessly over many years to achieve this objective working at all times within a clearly defined breed standard.
The American Staffordshire Terrier breed is recognised internationally and this unexpected decision seems to be contrary to all of the evidence that Genetic Technologies Ltd (a well respected and highly regarded Human Forensic and Animal Genetics & Diagnostics firm) has collected.
GTG maintains that “they are confident and can conclude that the breed signature for APBT is different to that of the AmStaff.”
This decision has significant and far reaching implications for our responsible AmStaff member breeders and exactly how this decision will affect our members and their internationally recognised breed of pure bred, registered dog is still unclear.
CCC (Q) t/as Dogs Queensland is seeking urgent talks with the relevant State Government Minister(s) to discuss the possible ramifications of this Supreme Court decision.
We are confident that those talks will result in a positive and manageable outcome for our members and their pedigreed registered American Staffordshire Terrier dogs.