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Are Pit Bulls Banned in South Africa? Everything You Need to Know


Mar 13, 2023
Pitbull Terrier Dog walking on a leash in a dog park, South Africa

Irrespective of their loyalty and unconditional enjoy as companions, Pit Bulls have had a prolonged-standing popularity and controversy encompassing them. They have also been in the information in South Africa next a number of deadly assaults on humans.

While some international locations have banned the breed, South Africa has no existing guidelines prohibiting them, and as a South African citizen, you can own a Pit Bull. Even so, some citizens are battling for the ban of this breed, when Pit Bull advocates and owners combat to maintain Pit Bulls all around.


Why are Pit Bulls Controversial?

Pit Bulls have been presented a popularity for getting harmful and intense, but many Pit Bull lovers believe that their conduct is a reflection of their house owners. The Pit Bull is nevertheless a well known breed all over the earth today. Crossing Bulldogs and Aged English Terriers for searching and fighting developed the brave doggy.

While a very well-bred and appropriately experienced Pit Bull makes a trusted and devoted companion, they are also occasionally acknowledged for their aggression toward other dogs and might turn out to be destructive when bored. If they are not thoroughly educated and socialized or lifted by an inexperienced operator, they can develop into dominant, aggressive, and often dangerous to the general public.

Pit Bulls are classified by some countries as risky dogs and are possibly banned or restricted in community because of it. Some countries will also demand an proprietor to carry a license.

Pit Bull advocates, professionals, and owners say the breed is misunderstood. They feel that if a Pit Bull becomes aggressive towards a human, that is at the palms of the operator and not the pet. They also imagine yard breeders are to blame for making aggressive crossbreeds and providing them to owners who are inexperienced and really don’t know the worth of good instruction and socialization.

Agressive pitbull terrier
Impression Credit score: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock

Why Are Some Citizens Pushing for a Ban in South Africa?

There are presently no regulations in South Africa banning Pit Bulls. On the other hand, they have lately been in the information next a couple of attacks, sparking the connect with for an speedy ban. The get in touch with for outlawing Pit Bulls in South Africa arrives as numerous other countries have both outlawed the breed or placed constraints on its importation or possession. There are multiple reasons that nations would ban a specific breed of pet dog, like a Pit Bull, which include:

  • Canine that are likely to be aggressive
  • Troubling pet bite data
  • Puppies utilised for illegal things to do this kind of as pet dog battling
  • Canine that have lousy habits and health and fitness documents
  • Unrecognized or uncommon breeds that may perhaps be unpredictable

Adhering to yrs of vicious assault incidents and the recent attack resulting in the unlucky loss of life of a 10-yr-old boy, the trade union federation recommended that South Africa prohibit the ownership of Pit Bulls as pets, as other countries have done.

To avoid uncontrolled breeding, the basis wants all male Pit Bulls castrated and all ladies sterilized. On top of that, they recommended that the government take into consideration licensing for unique breeds, these kinds of as Pit Bulls, Boerboels, and Rottweilers, and even went a step further in suggesting that the police office acquire all remaining Pit Bulls to use in the K9 device.

The spokesperson for Cosatu started a petition to ban the Pit Bull as a pet, and it has been signed by extra than 135,000 South Africans.

Can You Possess a Pit Bull in South Africa?

Pit Bulls can be owned as pets in South Africa, but the companionship won’t come with no some judgment from fellow citizens and naysayers. On the other hand, lots of of the breed’s enthusiasts feel the homeowners are the trouble and are fighting in opposition to this ban. The Pit Bull Federation of South Africa (PBFSA)  is an business that is fully commited to educating South Africans about the breed. They have designed it their mission to secure and market the Pit Bull in South Africa.

The PBFSA encourages proprietors to be responsible by possessing their Pit Bulls adequately properly trained, socialized, and mounted. The Nationwide Council of SPCAs concurs that extra stringent laws are needed to safeguard vulnerable men and women and animals from pet assaults but disagrees that a overall ban on Pit Bulls is the resolution.

Need to Pit Bulls be Banned in South Africa?

Pit Bulls were being at first bred in England for bull baiting and imported to South Africa, the place they were produced even more as animals, guard canines, and for illegal fighting rings. Pit Bulls’ genetics make up about 60% of their behavior. However, correct coaching and socialization from a young age can significantly adjust their habits.

Other breeds have been painted in a related light in South Africa. German Shepherds and Boerbulls ended up deemed harmful, and breeds like Rottweilers, Mastiffs, and Dobermans were being nearly banned.

Banning a particular breed may build some grey space for crossbreeds, and if the Pit Bulls in South Africa are all euthanized, as some call for, this will grow to be an ethical nightmare, and rightly so. Also, banning a precise breed ignores other critical facets, these as unsocialized or intact puppies that are commonly much more intense.

A back view of a brown Pitbull dog
Graphic Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

How Can Pit Bull House owners Stop Dog Attacks?

Doggy fighting in South Africa needs to be eliminated. This will result in a lot less incentive for breeding for aggression and rather for companionship. Breeding need to be accomplished with rigid regulations, together with behavioral testing. Lots of liable breeders concentrate on loved ones-friendly bloodlines to generate secure litters. The following phase is accountable possession.

These are the most critical elements to think about for liable possession:

  • Strongly take into consideration spaying or neutering your Pit Bull
  • Teach and socialize the pet at a younger age
  • Ensure your Pit Bull will get adequate exercising
  • Your Pit Bull ought to be fed a perfectly-balanced food plan to continue to be healthier
  • Maintain standard verify-ups at the vet
  • Constantly supervise your canine all-around young children and infants
  • Use a leash when going for walks
  • Abide by area guidelines and tips.
  • A veterinarian or puppy trainer ought to instantly evaluate any unsafe actions.



Pit Bulls are not banned in South Africa, for now, anyway. There is a petition to ban the breed, but controversy and a struggle concerning naysayers and lovers of the species will constantly continue being. A dog’s habits is motivated by its upbringing, socialization, and education, and poor conduct can effortlessly be adjusted with suitable training. The problem lies with fighting rings and canines bred aggressively for fighting, alongside with irresponsible ownership.

Showcased Graphic Credit: Elizabeth Grieb, Shutterstock

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