LENNOX KILLED. Despite all the work that many people put into this campaign. Lennox tragically had his life taken away on Wednesday 11th July 2012
This was a black day for the many people who had fought long and hard for the release of this poor dog.
Lennox had the misfortune to look like a dog that is on the banned list.
This was also a black day for the Northern Irish Legal System.
If this dog had been living anywhere else in the UK other the Northern Ireland he would be alive today.
In 1997 the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 was amended to allow dogs that were assessed to be of banned breed type. To be assessed for their behaviour as well as their looks.
That meant that only the courts could decide what dogs were euthanised, based on qualified assessments of both breed type and behaviour.
I have assessed many banned breeds. Most were benign, gentle and loving. The change in the act in 1997 meant they were not automatically destroyed. The Irish legal system never got round to repealing the automatic destruction order to bring it in line the the rest of the UK.
Lennox has lost his life as a result of their incompetence and intransigence. The Irish government, Belfast city council and its legal system should hang it head in shame.
Eugenics is the word we sometime use for the atrocities that were carried out by the nazis in the second world war. They believed that in the name of selective breeding it was acceptable to wipe out races of people that did not fit their Aryan ideals.
History now shows that this was an evil and misguided regime. Millions lost their life because of their hereditary and genetic background. I fervently hope that in the future the eugenics fostered on breeds of dogs that are deemed to be genetically bad, will be looked on in the same revulsion and horror as the Nazi regime.
I have written an article recently with regard the Staffordshire Bull Terrier its history and why it is wrongly maligned. At the end of that article I wrote a short piece about BSL (Breed Specific Legislation)
I make no excuse for repeating it here. I will leave that to be the final word, but would urge everyone to realise that the injustice served on Lennox should not die with his passing. The DDA requires changing, fight for it.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
The Dangerous Dogs Act and BSL (Breed Specific Legislation)
DDA (Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991) has a number of parts. Section one deals with BSL (Breed Specific Legislation). Currently it lists four breeds of banned dogs. And there are strong calls for the Staffie to be added to that list. If you want to see the full list see My Services
As yet, no one has managed to prove that genetics alone determines the behavioural outcome of any animal. Therefore stating that nurture/socialisation plays no part must surely be open to serious questions and doubt.
By banning specific breeds, the legislators have effectively stated that breed/genetics alone determines the behavioural outcome. If we take that to its logical conclusion, then surely all animals, including humans are born either bad or good, depending on genetics, race or breed.
Surely that is exactly what the Nazis propagated when they pushed the idea of eugenics. Culminating in the attempted extermination of what they considered “undesired” breeds and traits of a whole race of people.
I am heavily involved with the DDA as an expert witness and assessor. That said, I believe the concept of BSL is intrinsically flawed. Training, socialisation and behavioural manipulation creates changes in behaviour. That is a fact. I would be redundant as a behaviourist if that were not the case.
To state that nurture, socialisation, education and training has no impact on any individual or animal must surely be wrong. The assumption that genetics only, determines the outcome of behaviour, flies in the face of all known psychological and behavioural studies. Therefore BSL is based on a false premise. If that is the case, then the act should be totally overhauled, rather than just tinkered with, by add-on laws and useless soundbite political posturing.
I have written and article called The Staffordshire Bull Terrier Nanny or Devil Dog.
I think it is worth a read, it dispels some of the myths and beliefs about this much maligned breed.
Stan Rawlinson April 2012