LISTEN | ‘The pit bull’s greatest enemy is misinformation’: Pit Bull Federation

The Pit Bull Federation says owning a pit bull is a big responsibility and commitment. Stock photo.
The Pit Bull Federation says owning a pit bull is a big responsibility and commitment. Stock photo.
Image: artman1/

Calls to ban pit bull dogs have been mounting after the fatal mauling of an eight-year-old child playing in the yard at his home in Mangaung in the Free State last weekend.  

Spokesperson for the Pit Bull Federation of South Africa, Lins Rautenbach, said many people were misinformed about the breed and this had consequences for society, as had been seen with recent maulings.

“They are a hard-work breed. To own them is a big responsibility and commitment.

“The American Pit Bull Terrier in its modern format was developed for one thing only and that was dog-fighting. They are a fighting breed, it is what they are,” she said.


In some countries the breed has either been banned or there are restrictions on ownership or importation. These include Australia, Germany, Russia, France, Puerto Rico and some regions of Brazil, China and Canada. 

According to Rautenbach, the federation understands public outrage but banning a breed does not work. Instead, she urged enforcement of existing regulations, reinstatement of dog licences and mandatory sterilisation for those who aren't licensed breeders. 

The public outrage has resulted in some owners handing over their pit bulls to SPCAs and other animal welfare organisations. 

National Council of SPCAs public relations officer Keshvi Nair encouraged owners who are overwhelmed by their pit bulls to surrender them, adding the breed has limitations.  

“So they are doing the right thing by surrendering the dogs to the SPCA, as apposed to other cruel things that could happen to these animals,” she said.


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