Wherever you go, there it is. Or something like that. Settling into Rio means (for me, anyway) drinking my bodyweight in tropical juices and running on the beach. It also means working really hard on my Portuguese, which involves spending a lot of time with the dictionary and the newspaper. Of course, some articles are easier to understand than others because the context is so familiar.
For example, when I see a picture of a muzzled dog and a headline that says `Projeto de lei quer punir dono de´pit bull que fizer vítimas,´ my dictionary becomes less necessary. The proposed law labels 17 breeds of dog as dangerous, aiming particularly at pit bulls who are barred from reproducing (it may be my [lack of] language skills but the ban doesn´t seem to aim at breeders but rather at the dogs themselves). And the law would require that any ´dangerous´dog that ventures out in public be muzzled (picture below).
I find the dissonance on this issue perplexing. On the one hand, most people recognize that vicious dogs are made not bred and even this bill recognizes the responsibility of people for any damage a dog might cause. On the other hand, how does one explain this trend to ban and subjugate dogs simply because of their breed, especially when such laws do not work?
Anyone who knows anything about pit bulls knows: 1) that they are not a breed; and 2) that they are loving, friendly animals until they are tormented and transformed. Yet, legislatures everywhere treat them like canine Hannibal Lectors. Could it be then, that legislators don´t know anything about pit bulls and that, rather than bothering to inform themselves, they legislate in a panicked, ignorant frenzy?
Nah, it must be something else.
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal law, animal welfare Tagged: | animal abuse, animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal law, animal welfare, breed-specific laws, dangerous dogs, dog breeding, dogs, pit bulls, Rio de Janeiro