Calls for dogfighting crackdown in South Africa

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2007:

CAPE TOWN, S.A.–Stellenbosch Animal Welfare Society chair
Julia Evans on August 22, 2007 told a mayoral committee that her
organization receives as many as three calls per week about dogfights
held in Cloetesville, Stellenbosch, and that children as young as
eight are used to move dogs from one fight to the next because they
are less likely to be arrested.
Evans’ testimony, reported by Anel Powell of the Cape Times,
was supported a week later by Cape of Good Hope SPCA chief executive
Allan Perrins.


“The SPCA is in possession of explosive information that
could lead to a swoop on organized dog fighting rings across the
country,” wrote Cape Times reporter Natasha Joseph. “Targeted in
the SPCA’s [proposed] crackdown are lawyers, businessmen, dog
breeders, even a veterinarian and a pastor.”
Notice of dogfighting in the Cape Town area increased after a
late July police raid on a home in Woodstock produced evidence that
dogfighters had invaded the home of a blind person, using the home
as a never-cleaned kennel and fighting arena until neighbors
complained. Eight pit bull terriers and a trained guide dog were
impounded, reported Henri du Plessis of the Cape Argus.
The raid came three weeks after three pit bulls belonging to
a police officer fatally mauled Austin Pieters, 7, in the Northern
Cape district.
The attack caused June Woodman, chair of the 76-year-old
Animal Welfare Society of South Africa, to break from the past
position of the society in calling for a ban on breeding or keeping
pit bulls.
“I’m not saying the dogs are to blame, because they often
fall into the wrong hands and are encouraged to be vicious, but
something needs to be done,” Woodman told Helen Bamford of the Cape
Argus.

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