In response to news that a woman in Gurugram sustained serious injuries in a pit bull attack, that a teenager was critically injured by a pit bull in Meerut, and that an elderly woman in Lucknow was mauled to death by a pit bull – all within only weeks – PETA India sent letters to Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath, and Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Shri Arvind Kumar Sharma requesting that these states prohibit the keeping, breeding, and sale of dogs used for fighting; shut down illegal pet shops and breeders; and crack down on illegal dogfights. PETA India recommends that the ban be achieved by requiring that owners 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 such dogs from being bred, kept, or sold after a stipulated date immediately following the completion of that month. Uttar Pradesh is considering prohibiting pit bull, Rottweiler, and mastiff breeds following the recent attacks.
In India, inciting dogs to fight is illegal under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) 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.
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 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 as well as adequate food, exercise, affection, and opportunities for socialisation. 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.