Article by: Letato Kgaladi
Digital Editor, UpdateSA
South Africans have in recent years witnessed an increase in deaths caused by vicious and unprovoked Pitbull attacks, especially directed towards children.
Over the weekend a report emerged of an 8 year old boy who was fatally mauled by a neighbours Pitbull, which jumped over the fence and attacked him while he was playing in the yard of his family home, in Vista Park Bloemfontein.
Warning: Graphic Images
Many South Africans have taken to social media to call for a ban of these vicious dogs and have petitioned for stricter laws to be put into place for the ownership enforcement of these dogs. Many have voiced their fears and distress over the domestication of Pitbulls, referring to them as wild animals and pets that should be banned from domestic ownership, as they fear not only for their lives but for the lives of their children.
Less than a month ago, an online petition to “BAN PITBULLS AS DOMESTIC PETS IN SA” was started by Sizwe Kupelo Foundation and was addressed to Minister Thoko Didiza (Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development), Minister Mondli Gungubele (Minister in the Presidency), Minister Dr Joe Phaahla (Minister of Health) and Minister Bheki Cele (Minister of police).
The petition holds over 55000 signatures today, making it one of the most signed petitions in South Africa, in less than two months.
The petition reads:
Following years of vicious attacks on innocent citizens, including young children, the Sizwe Kupelo Foundation has called for the immediate ban of pit bulls.
The call has been necessitated by the attacks which seem to continue unabated with the recent attack resulting in the untimely and unfortunate death of a 10-year-old in Gelvandale, Gqeberha in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The call to ban pit bulls in South Africa comes as other countries like Russia, Finland, Denmark, United Kingdom, Portugal, parts of Germany, parts of China, parts of Brazil and parts of Australia, among a host of countries have either banned, put restrictions on ownership of the breed or its importation.
Foundation founder and patron Sizwe Kupelo has called on the SA government to follow suite.
Some pitbull owners and pet lovers have come out against the petition, blaming reckless owners for the Ill training of the dog, with many voicing that Pitbulls are sweet family dogs who love their children and protect them against attacks, in crime stricken South Africa.