Monday, January 28, 2008

What should be the basis for identifying which breeds should be included in Schedule 4?

Only those breeds able to be statistically shown to be more likely to attack than any other attributable factor (EG: Neutered / Chained / Owned by Beneficiary) should be included on Schedule 4.

Furthermore breed specific bans should only be implemented where a breed can be shown to be more likely to cause major harm or death than the highest risk racial group. Otherwise that racial group should have the same restrictions applied to them first.

I would also refer to the message by Associate Professor Kevin Stafford (Institute of Veterinary Animal and Biomedical Sciences) which states that:
In the late 1980s a list of breeds involved in 40 serious dogs attacks on children in Adelaide included German shepherd dogs (10), German shepherd crossbreds (5), rottweilers (7), pitbull terrier-type dogs (4), Siberian huskies (3) and one akita, doberman pinscher, labrador retriever, chow chow and Australian shepherd. Pitbull terrier-type dogs have been involved in many of the recently reported dog attacks and are the target for those promoting breed control legislation. But dog aggression was a public problem in New Zealand before this type of terrier became common and some of the breeds listed above may come under scrutiny in the near future. In a 1995 study of veterinary opinion in New Zealand, rottweilers were considered much more aggressive in the veterinary clinic than any other breed of dog. Intact male dogs are also much more likely to be involved in dog attacks than females or desexed animals.

This makes it critically important that dog breeds are assessed on evidence; not popular opinion. It is the focus on "bad breeds" which leads to the number of attacks by Labrodors and Jack Russels; both rarely focused on in "bad dog breed" lists - but frequently in the news stories of dog attacks.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Who can really blame him?

Unfortunately that is my first reaction to the news that a 50 year old man has been arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a 15 year old in Manurewa this morning - after a "tagging incident". (hattip: NZ Herald)

Ultimately, no, that can't be a condoned reaction to someone spray painting your fence - but until the justice system can start placing some real responsibility on those vandalizing other's property I can't help but see an increase in vigilantism against those caught. Especially when the results of 9 years of Labour's bleeding heart response to crime is becoming evident - 10 murders in 2008; and we're only 27 days in!

And looking at the nature of those 10 their failure is made even starker by the ages of those involved in most cases; between 14 and 20. Look closely at that, subtract 9 and figure out what period of political influence has been responsible for the formative period in these murderer's lives.

Even those Liberals starting to click still don't seem to really get it though. Listening to Kerry Woodham and her "Sunday Panel" this morning one at first thinks they start to see the connection; realising that "something must be done" and that the Liberal approach to justice is failing. However they then start on about how many of these youths were "doomed in the womb" due to parental drug use etc. And this is the problem. (Not the drug use although that is a major problem). Until we assign responsibility to those making the actions, they are powerless to work their way out of their positions. While we excuse them for actions, we take away their power over themselves to change.

Of course someone with a hard life, or drug affected in the womb is going to find life harder, and more difficult to break the cycle - but it doesn't make them any less responsible for their own actions. As if they are powerless and not responsible as many soft justice types would contend; then they should be executed at birth. If growing up in an underprivileged situation means that one is destined to a life of crime; society should use a bullet and be done with it - their past is unchangeable, so if their past is to blame they are incurable?

I don't believe so; which is why their past cannot be blamed. They are to blame.