Should Pit Bulls be Banned?

by lexidiperno on September 12, 2016 - 10:03pm

The city of Montreal is trying to pass a new bylaw where as of September, Pit Bull Terriers will be banned from the territory because of the recent accidents such as, the death of Christine Vadnais where a Pit Bull killed her in her own backyard and the many other non-fatal attacks and bites. Montreal’s goal is to faze them out by waiting till the Pit Bulls purchased or adopted before September die. The city of Montreal says they reserve the right to euthanize any dog if it bites or kills a human or another animal.  The new regulations are raising questions about the risks within the breed; advocates of the breed claim they are dangerous dogs because they get mistreated and taught to be violent. The breed does not cause these bad behaviors Pit Bulls are associated with; the owner does. Rather than targeting a certain breed, the law would set conditions to owning dangerous dogs. These being, anyone under the age of 18 cannot own a Pit Bull or anyone with a criminal record. Pit Bulls have had a terrible reputation for almost a decade, why are we only now trying to ban them now?

            While looking at different moral claims, we can depict two sides to this ethical question. These being, we should ban Pit Bulls and we should not ban Pit Bulls. Examining the side ‘we should ban Pit Bulls,’ the breed does go against a few moral principles. Pit Bulls’ are known for attacking humans in random situations leading hospitalization and even death.  This being, they are violating the claim “human life is fundamentally valuable” by taking ones life in an attack. Moreover, these accidents overstep the claim “do not harm” as they are physically harming people by pouncing at them as well as the family and friends of that individual that are mourning after the mishap. However, exploring the opposite view of ‘we should not ban Pit Bulls,’ we can easily identify the moral principle of ‘treating others how you would like to be treated.’ I believe this can be applied to animals as well as humans. If humans do not want to be fazed out then why should these dogs be? Humans kill probably more than Pit Bulls do and we do not kill these criminals; the consequences are not fair and these dogs are not being treated fairly in this situation. Furthermore, we can compare the desire of abolishing Pit Bulls to genocide. We should not discriminate a breed because certain human individuals treated their Pit Bulls poorly or raised them to fight, which lead to their reputation of aggression.

            Personally, I am against the abolition of pit bulls because it is simply not their fault. A puppy will not show aggression out of the womb; their mother raises them with care and affection as any mother would. We, humans, raise puppies generally as of the age of 6 weeks and this is where we teach them to be nice or mean. If a pit bull is in the right hands, they will be raised properly. What generally happens is they are not put in the right hands; because of their aggressive reputation, people with a not so good reputation themselves will generally be the ones to get a pit bull. These owners are not qualified to have a dog that can indeed be a potential threat. Our society use to think German Shepherds were the aggressive dogs, and then it was the Doberman and the Rottweiler. Pit bulls are just another breed of dog that should be added to this list. All dogs can be dangerous; generalizing a few breeds because they look more aggressive, are used to protect, or used for fighting does not mean every dog from that breed should be discriminated. 


The Canadian Press. @CTVNews. "Montreal Bans New Pit Bulls; Plans to Phase out Animal on Territory." CTVNews. Web. 12 Sept. 2016.



This article instantly caught my eye seeing as I am a dog owner and the subject of dogs really touches me. In my personal opinion I do not think pit bulls should be banned. To explain my point of view I’m going to choose the value of accountability. As you said in your post when pitbulls are first born they are not automatically programmed to be violent but rather it is something that is learned and acquired. Where do they learn this violent behavior? Chances are they are learning these behaviors from their owner. For this reason I think accountability comes in to play, we are blaming a species for their actions when in fact we should be blaming the people who teach them these actions. I think any dog has the ability to be violent and pose a threat to us humans so targeting all pit bulls and wanting to completely abolish them is not normal to me. Although I don’t think pit bulls should completely be abolished I do not disagree with the fact that stricter rules should be put into place when it comes to pit bulls. Rules having to do with who is allowed to own a pit bull, they training they should received and how they should be presented in the public (ex: on a leash, with a head halter, etc.) in order to protect the safety of citizens are all points that should be cleared up. Maybe I’m being biased cause I love dogs but what if this was a plan to ban another type of animal for being violent, do you think reactions would be different?

I like the subject that you chose because it is happening here and it also affects most people since a lot are dog owners. You have good premises and you expressed them clearly. You are also right when you say that its the owner that educate their dogs to be aggressive towards others. I think the restrictions are a good idea since banning Pitbulls because some owners are not able to control them is too severe for the rest. Not all Pitbulls are dangerous therefore why should we ban them all? Educating the owners is the best way to reduce violence. Golden Retrievers can also attack humans if they were train to do so, look at police dogs. Should we ban knives because some people are stabbing others?

This is a very interesting topic and since it is an ethical issue that affects our community, it really appealed me. The picture provided on your post gives a little more emotion to the reader, which is great in order to understand your opinion about the subject. Pitbulls, like humans and all other animals, have unique characteristics. Some of the them might be naturally more agitated or fierce, but in the end, the dog owner is the one to blame. A dog owner that takes good care of its dog will not turn its dog into a dangerous dog. It is the same thing with children. If parents take care of their child and show him good manners, the child will learn from them and reproduce their behavior. Pitbulls act the same way! We should not blame dogs for human errors. I totally agree with you, most of dangerous pitbulls are a result of bad treatment from their owner. However, does this apply to all pitbulls or is there a possibility that some pitbulls, like humans, might really be dangerous on their own?