Peta has called for Staffordshire Bull Terriers to be sterilised, claiming it's the best thing for the breed. But shouldn't the focus be on irresponsible owners, not the dogs?
Senior writer and blogger
Dogs aren't inherently dangerous, but there's still a misconception certain breeds are. Just calling for 'Staffies' to be added to such an outdated law, only fuels stereotype they are aggressive and something to be feared. In reality, they are incredibly gentle and affectionate.
Not only were 'Staffies' not added to the Dangerous Dog Act, just a year later they were named one of the top dogs on Britain's ITV's Top 100 Dogs Live 2019. Top 100 Dogs Live 2019. Despite this, PETA is pushing its agenda again, stating 'Staffies' should be sterilized after a woman was sadly mauled to death by what has been described as a 'Staffie cross.'
Elisa Allen, PETA's director, said: "The way to prevent more attacks is to stop these types of dogs from being bred. As they're often born only to be abused by 'macho' men - something which is best achieved through anti-breeding legislation and sterilization. It is of the utmost urgency that we take these steps to protect humans and other animals."
If PETA honestly believes in the ethical treatment of animals, is the answer really to wipe out an entire breed due to no fault of its own? Or, should we be looking at the irresponsible owners - these so-called 'macho men'?
In the wrong hands, 'Staffies' loyal nature can be used against them, so naturally they have the ability to cause harm when trained to do so. However, so do humans. Should we be sterilized too? They may currently receive the brunt of the negativity, but 'Staffies' aren't the first dog to be labelled as 'dangerous' and they no doubt won't be the last.
If PETA is truly concerned for the welfare of this misunderstood breed, the charity should be pushing for more to be done in terms of education around why dogs become aggressive alongside harsher punishments for those mistreating them. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is just one prominent animal charity that does just this.
It campaigns to show 'Staffies' are "softer than you think," calling for an end to Breed Specific Legislation. A 2016 report conducted by the charity examined the failings of the Dangerous Dog Act, and found that 74% of top canine behaviour experts do not believe breed is relevant when determining aggression levels in dogs.
PETA are right about one thing - more needs to be done to protect the breed from mistreatment but eradicating them is certainly not the way to do it.