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Breeders say demand for pit bulls has increased since the petition to ban them

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  • Two pit bull breeders in Johannesburg say demand for the dogs has increased since a petition was launched to ban them as pets.
  • Breeders sell them for about R2 000 each at six weeks of age.
  • High crime rates seem to be the reason why homeowners want pit bulls.

Pit bull owners and breeders in Johannesburg are unsure whether a petition and calls to ban the animals as pets will succeed.

They claim that since the petition started circulating, they have seen an increase in demand for pit bulls.

**Mzuandile said that although he has 10 of them, he did not initially intend to breed and sell them when he got his first pit bull in 2013.

He said he got them as a deterrent after several break-ins at his home.

When the neighbors showed interest, he bought more, bred them and sold them for 700 rubles each.

WATCH | Pit Bulls: Killing Machines or Love Pets? A petition that divides South Africans

Mzwandile says nine years later, the price of a single pit bull has more than doubled and demand is growing.

“The demand for pit bulls is high right now. Many people want them and are willing to pay for them. Others buy more than once, and when they return, they usually bring their first pit bulls to show us how big they have become. of our customers came back to complain that they were attacked by a dog.

“Pit bulls sell for 1,900-2,000 rand each. They buy them for the same reason many are calling for them to be banned. They want them because they are vicious, and homes with pit bulls are not a target for criminals,” he said. .

**Tebogo’s love for pit bulls was inspired by a neighbor who owned them. The 24-year-old said he was drawn to them because they brought so much joy to his neighbor.

He said:

I wanted that for myself too and followed in his footsteps. I went to him and bought two, a male and a female pit bull. They mated and a few months later I heard the sound of puppies. I look, and there are seven of them. I was delighted, took them all for a walk and came back with three. People bought the rest.

He has now owned pit bulls for over 10 years and has six at home.

He said that while pit bulls are known to be vicious, their behavior is determined by how they are raised and treated by their owners.

He said most people don’t see pit bulls as pets that can become part of their family, but as animals that can be trained to attack potential intruders.

This is problematic, he said.

“Pit bulls should not be locked up all day and only let out at night when they have to look after the house. I take mine on walks to teach them to live among people and interact with them. It shows them there are more people in their communities than they see in their homes.

“Others believe that pit bulls should be starved to make them angrier. It’s also problematic because when they get off the chain, they kill.”

Tebogo said he opposes the ban for two reasons: his love for pit bulls and the dogs being his source of income.

He said:

This is my bread. I sell pit bulls at 2000 rand each and will never accept this petition to ban them. This is a business for me. My dogs keep to themselves. This is how I can feed them. They are fit and healthy.

He breeds pit bulls under a registered company, but National Council for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) spokesman Keshvi Nair said that breeding animals under a registered company does not make it ethical.

She told News24 that while there is no law against breeding pit bulls and other dogs, she recommended adopting dogs from animal shelters.

She said the risk of buying pit bulls from breeders is that the owners are not responsible for raising them in safe conditions.

READ | ‘Goodbye my sweetie’: Teacher bids farewell to Bloemfontein pupil mauled to death by pit bull

“If the dogs you sold attack someone and lose limbs, where are you as a breeder when that happens? Where are you when these attacks happen or when they are used for dog fighting? This is the NSPCA stepping up,” Nair said.

She called for regulation of pit bull ownership, saying breeders resisted it to protect their profits.

Pit bull ownership has become a controversial topic.

“If these regulations are passed, if we do it right, and it becomes a rule that these animals have to be spayed and neutered so people can’t breed them, people are against it because they won’t be able to breed and make a profit from them? “

The Sizwe Kupelo Foundation, which launched a petition calling for pit bulls to be banned, said the issue had been neglected for too long and that it was too late to discuss training and regulation.

Foundation said:

We are not an animal hating organization and we understand that others keep a breed to protect their families and themselves. We support it, but we say there are alternatives. It’s too little, too late to learn. People were dying. Training has never been offered in the past. How to tell if a pit bull is in the wrong hands? There is malice in the behavior of the animal itself.

Nair said that while the NSPCA does not support calls for a complete ban on pit bulls, their viciousness can be attributed to more than just how their owners have raised them. They were flawed in their genetic makeup, she added.

Gwen Vox, a resident of Johannesburg, was mauled by her neighbor’s pit bull in February 2020. She saved her assistant who was attacked by a dog. After she doused him with water, he let go of the assistant and turned on her. She lost an arm and has scars on other parts of her body from the attack.

She said while the attack was a life-changing event, banning pit bulls outright was not the answer.

“We can’t wipe an entire species off the face of the earth, but we can put strict controls on who can breed dogs that are considered strong breeds.”

** Not their real names


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