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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Pit bull Terrier, a restricted breed; Time to regulate pet shops!

Cross-bred bull terrier a restricted breed, says vet dept D-G

PETALING JAYA: The dog that attacked and killed 74-year-old Yip Sun Wah is a miniature bull terrier cross which is a restricted breed in Malaysia.

Restricted breeds were not suitable as household pets, said Veterinary Services Department (DVS) director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin.

Such breeds, he added, were only meant for the use of military and enforcement agencies and not to be kept as pets.

He added that bull terriers were allowed to be kept as guard dogs providing they were given proper training and schooling.

“When an application is made to the local council for a licence for a restricted breed, the municipal agency will only issue the licence based on our recommendation,” said Dr Abdul Aziz. He said the DVS has published a guidebook to outline breed classification.

The guidelines can also be obtained at

Dr Abdul Aziz also said restricted breeds were not supposed to be sold in pet shops.

He added that the DVS was currently doing a trace to determine the supplier and find out how a restricted breed could have been made available to the owner.

“I will instruct our enforcement unit to check all pet shops to see if they are selling banned and restricted dog breeds,” said Dr Abdul Aziz.

Meanwhile, dog trainer Wellington Ho said bull terriers have very powerful jaws.

“There is a mechanism in the jaw which tends to lock up when it is clamped shut,” he said.

However, Ho was quick to point out that he personally knew of domesticated bull terriers that have been properly socialised.

“They have very sweet temperaments once they are properly socialised,” he said.

The dog that killed Yip had a valid licence issued by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council.

The case will be investigated by the police under Section 304(a) of the Penal Code for causing death by negligence, which carries a maximum of two years' jail, a fine or both. - The Star

Images for the american pitbull graphics

Time to regulate pet shops, say canine welfare groups


PETALING JAYA: Canine welfare groups are outraged over the death of 74-year-old Yip Sun Wah after he was mauled by a miniature bull terrier cross.

They claimed that one of the reasons behind Yip's death was the poor regulation of pet shops, which sell restricted breeds suspected of being obtained from backyard breeders.

Save a Stray founder Jacqueline Tsang said Yip's tragic death was due to irresponsible breeders who did not ensure the bull terrier's owner had the expertise to handle the dog.

“I also hold the enforcers liable for not ensuring the restriction (on restricted breeds) was being properly implemented,” said Tsang.

Canine rescue project Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better coordinator Irene Low said it was time for the authorities to seriously regulate pet shops that sold such animals.

“Only then can backyard breeders, who carry out unethical breeding, be put out of business as they would not have a platform to sell their dogs and puppies,” she said.

According to Low, unethical breeders also had a tendency to cross-breed dogs that were not compatible with each other.

“When indiscriminate cross-breeding is done, it can seriously affect the dogs' temperament,” she said.

Furry Friends Farm founder Sabrina Yeap said the temperament of a dog was usually influenced by the environment it was brought up in.

“Whatever the breed, what matters most is the upbringing. I personally know of bull terriers that are loving family pets,” said Yeap.

KL Pooch Rescue co-founder Shannon Lam said the loss of a father and husband to any violent attack was unspeakable.

“Equally tragic is a society that seeks to punish a beast for behaving as such rather than punishing those who are behind its aggression,” she added.

Meanwhile, sources say several rescue groups are getting together to request the authorities not to euthanise the dog.

Dog trainer and G-Pet Boarding and Training Centre Carlos Huertez said he would take the dog in if the authorities were willing to hand over the bull terrier.

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