Thursday 19 November 2009

Bad Boy! Sit And Stay!

Dave Hill writes on ‘weapon dogs’ in CiF, and specifically on Kit Malthouse’s stupid statement:
Last week Malthouse hosted a summit with members of the Met's status dogs unit and the RSPCA. All agreed on a need for further action, but none have publicly endorsed Malthouse's call for a policy of managed extinction similar to that in Ontario. Why not?
Because it won’t resolve the problem, Dave.

The problem isn’t the dogs. The problem is the owners

And the last time a politician got up on his hind legs and begged for more legislation, we got the DDA. Did it work? No.

But hey, politicians love creating new legislation like dogs love rolling in fox crap. You can’t breed it out of them, Dave, it’s their nature
It's an emotive notion, of course. Packs of dog-lovers have turned on Malthouse. K9 magazine called him the "biggest moron in Britain" and a blogger opposed to the DDA has (the brute) compared him to a grumbling appendix.
Well, I don’t think Kit’s the ‘biggest moron in Britain’, that’s for sure. He’s up against a hell of a lot of stiff competition, after all; Ed Balls, Kerry McCarthy, John Prescott…

But I digress. Dave is like most modern liberals; suspicious of personal freedom:
So have others. Roger Evans, who leads the London assembly's Conservative group, commented here that there is a real problem with dog nastiness that needs to be "tackled robustly" But he gave expression to gut Tory instincts when adding:

“On the whole I'm not in favour of banning things – deprived of 'status' dogs, the owners would just find another way to make a nuisance of themselves. We need legislation which targets those few antisocial individuals and removes them from circulation.”
So, that’s what Dave considers to be a ‘gut Tory instinct’, is it?

The desire to act only against the people causing the problem, whilst avoiding trampling on the rights of the responsible dog owners?

If so, I say ‘Bring it on, Tory boys!’, for once...
Both these views seem broadly congruent with the stock line of dog defenders, as repeated by skinnysprinter: "There are no dangerous dogs, only dangerous owners … give me the puppy – any breed – and I'll give you back the well-socialised, friendly pet we'd all like to see."
And that’s true, barring no inherent temperament problems with the individual animal.

Sensible, responsible dog owners are always cognisant, too, that no matter how well-trained and well-socialised their dog, it is still an animal, and take the necessary precautions – leashing in public, never leaving it alone with a child etc.
Here's where scope for common ground seems limited. "Bull terriers were bred as weapons, to duel or bait with, for their owner's entertainment and status," Malthouse wrote, "and only once we recognise their atavistic instincts, as those who train them to fight do, can we start to frame legislation that may have a lasting effect." He argues, in other words, that laws to nail bad owners can do only so much to tame beasts that are inherently bad; where bull-breeds are concerned no amount of nurture can guarantee to get the better of this variety of canine nature.
I didn’t realise that Malthouse was a canine expert, able to ignore the acknowledged dog behaviourists at K9 magazine and the RSPCA?
I'm in an instructive quandary. I share the view (as does Malthouse) that bad owners are integral to a problem that is growing, and I have no objection to the full powers of the authorities being brought to bear. Though I quite like dogs in general I dislike even passing encounters with "status" varieties on the streets or in parks; I resent the apprehensive tingle in my calves. At the same time I've an aversion to crude prohibition measures on much the same grounds as Roger Evans.
Yet you consider rejection of them to be ‘Tory gut instincts’, Dave…
It is partly my need to resolve this dilemma that causes me to look on the long-term "phasing out" idea with a degree of sympathy. I can see there might be practical problems and I'm no expert on human manipulation of canine genetics – dog breeding, as it is known. But until someone convinces me that bull-types have not been deliberately evolved with a view to maximising and perpetuating their capacity for aggression I'll find it hard to disagree with Malthouse's point about their psychological hard-wiring.
So, you’re no expert, but you’ll defer to Malthouse, over the acknowledged real experts?

How does that make sense?
Like many other kinds of dog, bull-types are the product of human intervention to serve a specific human purpose. If that purpose has resulted in adverse social consequences, is there anything morally or intellectually inconsistent about the principle of humans intervening, using the instrument of law, to see that these are gradually bred out?
Not really.

But rather than ponder the deep philosophical questions, why not ask yourself instead if it will work?

I think you know the answer, don’t you, Dave?


selwyn marock said...

Malthouse is just another failing politician who obviously cannot handle the real issues,the first thing a failing politician does is start creating laws that are aimed at soft targets(law abiding citizens)the target will ultimately be Family Pets,animals that have done nothing wrong.Perfect example is in Scotland they also are holding a dog that has broken no laws barring the way he looks the authorities are fighting hard to Murder the poor animal but in the same month these authorities release a Terrorist who has blown a plane Murdering about 250 women,and children included and these imbeciles send the Bastard back to Libya to a heroes welcome.
Obviously Gaddafi must have shown his appreciation to these "kind and compassionate politicos"
Nothern Ireland are holding a little dog that has broken no laws
barring the way he looks but at the same time Gerry Adams release 2 Murderers who cold bloodedly killed 1 policeman and seriously injured another,his reason "They showed remorse" even sent one of his fellow terrorists to pick these 2 up from jail.This poor dog named Bruce has been held for 2 years purely on a technicality,at the pleasure of a messrs michelle gildenew,this bitch will not even allow the dog to move to Southern Ireland.
So when Scum like Malthouse start rattling a sabre,my concern is Family pets.
Some Stats from USA for 2008

Fatalities caused by dogs =16(all breeds)
Deaths caused by Murder human upon
human =16000
Dog Stats provided by CDC(Canine Disease Centre)
Murder Stats provided by the FBI
So there does not appear to be a Dog attack Pandemic rather that overzealous Moron Malthouse maybe should start a phase out operation on the humans or maybe if that is a little harsh he should try and address the Crime-wave that is growing world-wide.

Anonymous said...

Have we found a new definition of a "liberal" (american spelling)?

At the same time I've an aversion to crude prohibition measures ...

I can see there might be practical problems and I'm no expert on ...

The leftist liberal playbook:
1. Express concern about state power.
2. Express concern about the effectiveness of any measures.
3. Ignore any possible undesirable side-effects.
4. Go ahead and smash a nut with the state-power sledge-hammer.


James Higham said...

I'll remember all that if I ever get a dog.

JuliaM said...

"Malthouse is just another failing politician who obviously cannot handle the real issues,the first thing a failing politician does is start creating laws that are aimed at soft targets..."

Spot on!

Squander Two said...

I met this dog once. He was lovely.

JuliaM said...

"I met this dog once. He was lovely."

What a great website!