PETA India has renewed its call to the Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Shri Parshottam Rupala to make an urgent amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Dog Breeding and Marketing) Rules, 2017, to prohibit the keeping and breeding of foreign breeds of dogs bred for illegal fighting, such as pit bulls. The Uttar Pradesh government has already reportedly shown an interest in prohibiting pit bull, Rottweiler, and mastiff breeds.
In India, inciting dogs to fight is illegal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Yet organised dogfights are prevalent in parts of North India, making pit bull–type dogs and others used in these fights the most abused dog breeds. Pit bulls are commonly bred to be used in illegal fighting or kept on heavy chains as attack dogs, resulting in a lifetime of suffering. Many endure painful physical mutilations such as ear-cropping – an illegal process that involves removing part of a dog’s ears to prevent another dog from grabbing them during a fight. These dogs are encouraged to continue fighting until they become exhausted and at least one is seriously injured or dies.
PETA India warns that most pet shops and breeders are illegal, as they aren’t registered with their state animal welfare boards. They also typically deprive dogs of proper veterinary care and adequate food, exercise, affection, and opportunities for socialisation and sell pit bull–type dogs to unsuspecting buyers without warning them that they have been bred specifically for fighting.
PETA India’s appeal comes on the heels of recent pit bull attacks in just the last two months – a woman in Gurugram sustained serious injuries in a pit bull attack, a teenager was critically injured by a pit bull in Meerut, a 13-year-old child in Punjab was left with a mangled ear, a teenager in Meerut was critically injured by pit bulls, and an elderly woman in Lucknow was mauled to death.
In the UK, it’s against the law to keep pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogos Argentinos, and Fila Brasileiros – breeds banned because they are traditionally used for illegal dogfighting, bred and trained for aggression, and commonly abused. Similarly, in Australia, breeds prohibited in the UK as well as Perro de Presa Canarios are restricted, and in Germany, pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, and Staffordshire bull terriers cannot be imported.
PETA India advises that the prohibition can be achieved in the country by requiring owners to declare breeds placed on the prohibited list for mandatory sterilisation and government registration within a month of the issuance of the directive as well as by prohibiting any new dogs of these breeds from being bred, kept, or sold after a stipulated date immediately following the completion of that month. PETA India is also calling for a closure of illegal pet shops and breeders and a crackdown on illegal dogfights.
PETA India encourages those with the time, patience, love, and resources to welcome a dog into their home to adopt an Indian community dog, known for their loving nature, from an animal shelter or the streets.