Banning XL bully dogs

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Fishnut
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Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Fishnut » Mon Sep 11, 2023 2:56 pm

Suella Braverman has ordered 'urgent advice' on banning this 'breed' (it's not recognised as a breed in the UK).

Fatalities from dog attacks are really rare (single figures each year) though they are rising. The cause is unclear.

The breed that causes the most personal injuries claims is the labrador but it has been the most popular breed in the UK for years. The British Veterinary Association says that there's no evidence the Dangerous Dog Act has done anything to reduce aggression in dogs or the number of attacks, and advocates for "evidence-based, ‘deed-not-breed’ approach to dog control legislation".

Rather than ask the broader question of why are dog attacks increasing, the government once again seems to be reaching for the 'easy' yet completely illogical answer of banning a 'breed' of dog.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by dyqik » Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:42 pm

This feels like a carefully calculated distraction from all the government f.ck-ups. I can't imagine that dogs have suddenly got more dangerous overnight.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by monkey » Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:54 pm

dyqik wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:42 pm
This feels like a carefully calculated distraction from all the government f.ck-ups. I can't imagine that dogs have suddenly got more dangerous overnight.
A kid got killed, this is a fairly standard response in the UK - outrage in the press followed by politicians saying they will do something about it.

If it was calculated distraction then they are bigger c.nts than I thought, as that implies they planned it.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by dyqik » Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:58 pm

monkey wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:54 pm
dyqik wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:42 pm
This feels like a carefully calculated distraction from all the government f.ck-ups. I can't imagine that dogs have suddenly got more dangerous overnight.
A kid got killed, this is a fairly standard response in the UK - outrage in the press followed by politicians saying they will do something about it.

If it was calculated distraction then they are bigger c.nts than I thought, as that implies they planned it.
I didn't necessarily say that the government was the one calculating and causing the distraction. The press can do that itself by taking a single tragedy and running with it.

As Fishnut pointed out, the press choose not to run with Labrador attacks. Also, "dog bites man" is the cliché example of something that isn't news.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by monkey » Mon Sep 11, 2023 5:24 pm

dyqik wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:58 pm
monkey wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:54 pm
dyqik wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:42 pm
This feels like a carefully calculated distraction from all the government f.ck-ups. I can't imagine that dogs have suddenly got more dangerous overnight.
A kid got killed, this is a fairly standard response in the UK - outrage in the press followed by politicians saying they will do something about it.

If it was calculated distraction then they are bigger c.nts than I thought, as that implies they planned it.
I didn't necessarily say that the government was the one calculating and causing the distraction. The press can do that itself by taking a single tragedy and running with it.

As Fishnut pointed out, the press choose not to run with Labrador attacks. Also, "dog bites man" is the cliché example of something that isn't news.
I'm counting the press as c.nts here too.

"Dog kills kid" gets in the narional news every time. It's a rare event that gets people emotional. The story might be louder now because someone decided to make it bigger for the distraction (politicians and press have this power), but I'd say that's just opportunistic rather than calculating. Calculating implies planning and cleverness, 4D chess stuff, to me anyway.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by bjn » Mon Sep 11, 2023 5:55 pm

Science Vs did a pod on how dangereous are pit bulls in April this year. Basically the stats saying pitbulls are especially viscious are pants, chihuahuas are more aggressive, though pitbulls (and similar shaped dogs like mastiffs) have way stronger bites, so if they do bite you you are much more likely to be injured. I'd assume that its similar for XL Bullies.

A bigger correletion semed to be how the dog was treated by their owners...
One study looked at over 200 dog bite fatalities from across ten years and they found that 76% of the time the dogs that killed someone were, quote, kept isolated from regular positive human interactions, unquote. Like I talked to Anna McNeill about this - she said to picture a dog that's like always tied up outside.
https://gimletmedia.com/shows/science-v ... o-the-bone

transcript

https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2P ... ZCcEIy/pub

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Fishnut » Mon Sep 11, 2023 7:18 pm

monkey wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:54 pm
dyqik wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:42 pm
This feels like a carefully calculated distraction from all the government f.ck-ups. I can't imagine that dogs have suddenly got more dangerous overnight.
A kid got killed, this is a fairly standard response in the UK - outrage in the press followed by politicians saying they will do something about it.
It's the standard response to these sorts of deaths. But when kids get killed in other ways the response is often much more muted. Compare the response from Braverman to the recent Wimbledon school crash, where a woman crashed a Land Rover into a school, killing two pupils and injuring multiple other people. Her response to that was that she was “saddened to hear about the tragic incident”. Where's the rush to ban luxury SUVs? Or even condemn dangerous driving?

1,694 children between 0 and 15 years old were killed or seriously injured on the roads between 2019 and 2021. That's an average of just over 2 a day.

I don't understand why a dog attack gets a 'we must ban these dogs!' while deaths from cars get a 'we're sorry'. It's almost like we've decided that some deaths are acceptable.

This thread (h/t Insignificant) makes the point that these dogs are overrepresented in the bite and attack data because they are more often owned by people who want a dangerous dog. Rather than banning these dogs would we be better off asking why more people want to have a dangerous dog?
bjn wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 5:55 pm
Science Vs did a pod on how dangereous are pit bulls in April this year...
I knew I'd heard a podcast about this recently but couldn't remember where! Alice on Skeptics with a K also did a good debunking a while back.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by TopBadger » Mon Sep 11, 2023 7:39 pm

I saw an XL Bully a few months ago, the guy walking it was a huge bodybuilder type and could barely keep it from pulling him over. It looked like a staffy, but was the size of an Alsatian! Not sure if they're all that big (n=1 and all that) but it was a scary beast of a dog.

Only the week before I met the XL Bully whilst walking my dog I saw my neighbours dog get torn to pieces by a Cane Corso (smaller than the XL Bully, but still huge) and there was nothing that three grown men could do to stop it (I was one of them). Police took that one away and it was destroyed.

I don't know what possesses folks to own a dog that could easily kill them. I suspect the issue is less the breed and more about the psychology of why a person would want a big dog (i.e. self protection) and subsequently how they socialize and train them (or don't).

Our laws on licensing ownership of potentially dangerous animals is pretty much nil. Don't even need one for a Boa constrictor, not that those are seen being taken for a slither.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by bjn » Mon Sep 11, 2023 8:07 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 7:18 pm
monkey wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:54 pm
dyqik wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:42 pm
This feels like a carefully calculated distraction from all the government f.ck-ups. I can't imagine that dogs have suddenly got more dangerous overnight.
A kid got killed, this is a fairly standard response in the UK - outrage in the press followed by politicians saying they will do something about it.
It's the standard response to these sorts of deaths. But when kids get killed in other ways the response is often much more muted. Compare the response from Braverman to the recent Wimbledon school crash, where a woman crashed a Land Rover into a school, killing two pupils and injuring multiple other people. Her response to that was that she was “saddened to hear about the tragic incident”. Where's the rush to ban luxury SUVs? Or even condemn dangerous driving?

1,694 children between 0 and 15 years old were killed or seriously injured on the roads between 2019 and 2021. That's an average of just over 2 a day.

I don't understand why a dog attack gets a 'we must ban these dogs!' while deaths from cars get a 'we're sorry'. It's almost like we've decided that some deaths are acceptable.
Because Tory ministers know people who own SUVs, and indeed they quite likely own an SUV. They don't kill people with their car, and obviously it's not the sort of thing their sort of people do, plus restricting ownership of large cars is an affront to 'FREEDOM!' and Daily Mail readers across the land (whose editor likely own an SUV). Meanwhile, people who own XL Bullys are very Non-U so it's OK to tell them what to do. Picking on an outgroup in an useless attempt to fix a problem that has a different cause, while looking tough is what you should expect from this lot.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Fishnut » Mon Sep 11, 2023 8:54 pm

bjn wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 8:07 pm
Because Tory ministers know people who own SUVs, and indeed they quite likely own an SUV. They don't kill people with their car, and obviously it's not the sort of thing their sort of people do, plus restricting ownership of large cars is an affront to 'FREEDOM!' and Daily Mail readers across the land (whose editor likely own an SUV). Meanwhile, people who own XL Bullys are very Non-U so it's OK to tell them what to do. Picking on an outgroup in an useless attempt to fix a problem that has a different cause, while looking tough is what you should expect from this lot.
As I was writing I was wondering if it is simply classism.

What's interested me is that it seems there has been an increase in the number of dog attacks in recent years. The paper I referenced in my first post only went up to 2016 so I don't know if the trend has continued, and given that the British Veterinary Association is calling for the establishment of a centralised dog biting incident database, I'm guessing getting good data on the extent of the problem likely isn't particularly easy.

If numbers have increased the question becomes why? I can think of a couple of reasons - the boom in dog owners during lockdown combined with the inability to attend socialisation and training classes could have led to more poorly socialised and fearful dogs. Speculating wildly, but with the cost of living crisis maybe people are feeling more vulnerable and in want of the sort of security that a vicious dog provides. Though neither of these explain the rise pre-2016.

The follow-up question is, what do we do about it? Even if the numbers are low, that doesn't mean we get to sit back and ignore the problem. While some breeds may be more dangerous when aggressive, as the Science vs. podcast reported, and some genetic lines can be more aggressive it's pretty clear that banning particular types of dogs isn't the answer. Better training - of dogs and people - seems to be more likely to achieve success. But it's not something that lends itself to the sort of headlines the tabloids like to run with.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by jimbob » Mon Sep 11, 2023 9:07 pm

TopBadger wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 7:39 pm
I saw an XL Bully a few months ago, the guy walking it was a huge bodybuilder type and could barely keep it from pulling him over. It looked like a staffy, but was the size of an Alsatian! Not sure if they're all that big (n=1 and all that) but it was a scary beast of a dog.

Only the week before I met the XL Bully whilst walking my dog I saw my neighbours dog get torn to pieces by a Cane Corso (smaller than the XL Bully, but still huge) and there was nothing that three grown men could do to stop it (I was one of them). Police took that one away and it was destroyed.

I don't know what possesses folks to own a dog that could easily kill them. I suspect the issue is less the breed and more about the psychology of why a person would want a big dog (i.e. self protection) and subsequently how they socialize and train them (or don't).

Our laws on licensing ownership of potentially dangerous animals is pretty much nil. Don't even need one for a Boa constrictor, not that those are seen being taken for a slither.
That's why I think it's possibly a reasonable approach. You might have more Labrador bites but firstly there are more Labradors and secondly they are less dangerous. I'm sure one could hurt a full grown adult, but equally, a full grown adult would probably be able to drive one off. As opposed to being too much for three adults.

Yes, it might be that such breeds are not so inherently aggressive, but if they have become a status symbol cum weapon then it might be reasonable to consider that such dogs are likely to be maltreated.

Of course, if they are already covered by legislation, then that is a different matter.


Maybe, we could bring back the dog license instead.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Fishnut » Mon Sep 11, 2023 9:36 pm

jimbob wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 9:07 pm
Maybe, we could bring back the dog license instead.
I've seen this proposed as a solution on social media, but I'm unclear how it would work in practice. When I lived in Australia I had to have a licence for my dog. I filled in a form, confirmed he was neutered and microchipped, paid my money and got my tag to go on his collar. No-one ever saw me or my dog, or did anything to confirm I was someone who was capable of properly looking after him. While I never bothered to look into it - I'd already paid thousands to bring him into the country, I wasn't going to quibble over $20 - it did feel like it was essentially a dog tax.

The old UK dog licence was a tax - there was no welfare requirement - and the main thing the licence did was give you a tag to put on the collar which helped people find their lost dogs. We now have mandatory microchipping making the tag unnecessary.

If a licence did require some care requirements, who gets to set those? How do they get enforced? Do you have to apply for a licence before you can get a dog? If you have multiple dogs do you have to have a licence for each, or is it like a drivers licence where once you've got it you can have as many vehicles as you like? Will you have to take a test? Or have your home inspected?

I'm not expecting answers to these questions, but ask them more to point out that licensing doesn't feel like the easy solution it's made out to be.
jimbob wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 9:07 pm
Yes, it might be that such breeds are not so inherently aggressive, but if they have become a status symbol cum weapon then it might be reasonable to consider that such dogs are likely to be maltreated.
This certainly seems to be the case. Though I struggle to see how banning entire types of dog will fix this. Banning particular people from owning animals, on the other hand... For a supposed nation of animal lovers we seem to have a far higher tolerance for animal cruelty than I would like and have trouble prosecuting any but the most egregious cases.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by lpm » Mon Sep 11, 2023 10:02 pm

Amazing.

Dangerous dogs are used by violent and insecure men to intimidate women, neighbours and perceived enemies. They are a means to claim territory.

They injure other dogs, kill other dogs, traumatise children, injure children, and at the tip of the iceberg they kill.

The instinct to protect and enable men obviously runs deep. Throw in some whataboutism, imply a bit of classism and turn it into a political football, all to the benefit of men who continually take advantage of naivety.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by jimbob » Mon Sep 11, 2023 10:46 pm

lpm wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 10:02 pm
Amazing.

Dangerous dogs are used by violent and insecure men to intimidate women, neighbours and perceived enemies. They are a means to claim territory.

They injure other dogs, kill other dogs, traumatise children, injure children, and at the tip of the iceberg they kill.

The instinct to protect and enable men obviously runs deep. Throw in some whataboutism, imply a bit of classism and turn it into a political football, all to the benefit of men who continually take advantage of naivety.
Yes, they are status symbols cum weapons.

And far more able to kill than other breeds.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Martin_B » Tue Sep 12, 2023 1:23 am

lpm wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 10:02 pm
Amazing.

Dangerous dogs are used by violent and insecure men to intimidate women, neighbours and perceived enemies. They are a means to claim territory.

They injure other dogs, kill other dogs, traumatise children, injure children, and at the tip of the iceberg they kill.

The instinct to protect and enable men obviously runs deep. Throw in some whataboutism, imply a bit of classism and turn it into a political football, all to the benefit of men who continually take advantage of naivety.
But surely that's an argument that violent and insecure men shouldn't own dogs (preferably any dogs) than that the XL Bully 'breed' should be banned?

Friends had a Pit Bull, which they raised from a puppy, and treated it properly with love and kindness, and they got a dog which was gentle and loving in return. The breed isn't the problem, it's the treatment of the dog by the owner which is the problem.

You do have to wonder about the breeders who bred the XL Bully in the first place, but I've heard that the police/army are struggling to get enough Alsatians for use as police/guard dogs as breeders are breeding out the aggressive tendencies, as they make more money for puppies as pets than for puppies as working dogs.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Sep 12, 2023 3:51 am

Fishnut wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 7:18 pm
monkey wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:54 pm
dyqik wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:42 pm
This feels like a carefully calculated distraction from all the government f.ck-ups. I can't imagine that dogs have suddenly got more dangerous overnight.
A kid got killed, this is a fairly standard response in the UK - outrage in the press followed by politicians saying they will do something about it.
It's the standard response to these sorts of deaths. But when kids get killed in other ways the response is often much more muted. Compare the response from Braverman to the recent Wimbledon school crash, where a woman crashed a Land Rover into a school, killing two pupils and injuring multiple other people. Her response to that was that she was “saddened to hear about the tragic incident”. Where's the rush to ban luxury SUVs? Or even condemn dangerous driving?

1,694 children between 0 and 15 years old were killed or seriously injured on the roads between 2019 and 2021. That's an average of just over 2 a day.

I don't understand why a dog attack gets a 'we must ban these dogs!' while deaths from cars get a 'we're sorry'. It's almost like we've decided that some deaths are acceptable.
On the cars analogy, firstly road safety is the motivation for a large number of laws and a lot of government spending. Society does see deaths caused by cars as being a serious problem and does do a lot about it.

Cars also provide very many benefits to society. In utilitarian terms it’s not obvious that banning them would a benefit.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Tessa K » Tue Sep 12, 2023 7:08 am

When I moved onto this estate a few years ago I expected there would be a lot of big scary dogs as it's quite a rough area. But the status symbol dog for big men round here is the French bulldog, perhaps because they are so expensive. So assumptions about dogs and class we see in the media are often based more on snobbery than facts.

That's not to deny the danger of these big dogs, of course.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Sep 12, 2023 7:10 am

I had a look for some data.

There are statistics from the NHS on injuries caused by dog bites (link). There has been a long term increase in the total number of injuries (eg from 1 950 in 2007-8 to 3 272 in 2021-22 with a steady increase in between). But injuries probably aren't the most relevant indicator. I assume that a lot of people are injured by their own dogs. Such incidents are obviously bad for them but probably not a major problem for the rest of society.

More relevant would seem to be attacks causing injury that were reported to the police. There does appear to have been a large increase from 2020 onwards from about 17 000 incidents to almost 22 000. An attack by a dog is likely to be frightening, especially for the many people who are already scared of dogs. The 22 000 reported attacks are a serious social problem in themselves.

The most concerning attacks are those that cause death. Someone has done a study already for 2001 to 2021, and there was no increase in deaths over that period, with the mean deaths per year being 3.3. So what about 2022 and the first half of 2023?

It appears that there were 10 deaths in 2022. This is apparently a big increase, but it could be a blip rather than a trend. A Wiki page lists fatalities, and so far six deaths have been listed for 2023. So its looking more like a trend (and the Wiki may under report deaths not covered by the media).

The Wiki page also lists the species where known. The type 'American Bully' does seem to be over-represented in 2022 and 2023. But before drawing any conclusions I'd want to be certain that there weren't reporting biases.

Looking at all three metrics together there does appear to be a growing social problem concerning dog attacks. There have been worsening trends for injuries and incidents reported to the police. While the trend in deaths is not yet certain, the other two trends add weight to concern that there is a trend there. Any one of the injuries or police reports trends could be explained by changes in reporting etc. But together they do suggest that there is an underlying social problem that's getting worse - eg I doubt that changes in reporting to the police would also affect the NHS.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Sep 12, 2023 7:50 am

In terms of legislation, one approach that is found in several European countries is for partial or full prohibitions on exercising dogs in public areas without a leash. For example in Trentino dogs are supposed to be kept on a leash in public (except in designated areas for dog walking).

Some countries also define particular breeds as being dangerous, for example in France Staffordshire terriers, Mastiffs and Tosas as being chiens d'attaque. They are prohibited in certain public places and have to be muzzled in others.

I don't know whether or not this reduces the number of attacks or injuries.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Imrael » Tue Sep 12, 2023 7:53 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 7:10 am
I had a look for some data.

.....

Looking at all three metrics together there does appear to be a growing social problem concerning dog attacks. There have been worsening trends for injuries and incidents reported to the police. While the trend in deaths is not yet certain, the other two trends add weight to concern that there is a trend there. Any one of the injuries or police reports trends could be explained by changes in reporting etc. But together they do suggest that there is an underlying social problem that's getting worse - eg I doubt that changes in reporting to the police would also affect the NHS.
Thanks for that - interesting if a bit unsettling. There was of course a blip in general dog ownership, and novice ownership, associated with Covid and WFH - those dogs are now fully grown.

I think my main concern with a breed ban is that it just displaces to a different breed - most big dogs are potentially dangerous and several breeds have the "power bite" to do harm. Ban XL bullies and we'll be awash with badly trained working line German Shepherds in a year. You could probably argue for a ban on several breeds that arent normally considered dangerous, in that if someone wanted to breed and train aggresive behaviours in them it wouldnt take long. I dont really have an answer - maybe compulsory liability insurance would put off enough innappropriate owners?

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by IvanV » Tue Sep 12, 2023 8:14 am

Martin_B wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 1:23 am
lpm wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 10:02 pm
Dangerous dogs are used by violent and insecure men to intimidate women, neighbours and perceived enemies. They are a means to claim territory.

They injure other dogs, kill other dogs, traumatise children, injure children, and at the tip of the iceberg they kill.

The instinct to protect and enable men obviously runs deep. Throw in some whataboutism, imply a bit of classism and turn it into a political football, all to the benefit of men who continually take advantage of naivety.
But surely that's an argument that violent and insecure men shouldn't own dogs (preferably any dogs) than that the XL Bully 'breed' should be banned?

Friends had a Pit Bull, which they raised from a puppy, and treated it properly with love and kindness, and they got a dog which was gentle and loving in return. The breed isn't the problem, it's the treatment of the dog by the owner which is the problem.

You do have to wonder about the breeders who bred the XL Bully in the first place, but I've heard that the police/army are struggling to get enough Alsatians for use as police/guard dogs as breeders are breeding out the aggressive tendencies, as they make more money for puppies as pets than for puppies as working dogs.
It is indeed part of the unbalanced influence and power games in society why we don't properly regulate motoring, while spending parliamentary time on dangerous dogs. But dangerous and misused dogs cause fear and anxiety far beyond the mere injury statistics, and should be regulated.

When I was a child I was terrorised by a couple of dogs. Walking home from school was anxiety-inducing, about whether I would meet these scary unfriendly dogs, golden labs, allowed to wander the streets by their irresponsible owner. In fact when I walked anywhere, for many years, I was terrified I might meet a dog. I'd cross the road and hope it would stay on the other side. Owners say "it's friendly", well touching me in any way with those huge teeth near me is not any kind of friendliness I know. Eventually those labs attacked someone taking their own dog for a walk and put him in hospital, and only then was the owner spoken to sufficiently forcefully by the police. I don't know whether they were destroyed or just taken off the streets. The owners lived in a large detached house in one of the poshest roads in the area - so it's not just economically disadvantaged people who are irresponsible owners. It took me many years to recover from my fear of dogs because of it. Though of course its uncommon for 8-10 yr-olds to walk anywhere unsupervised these days, let alone 2km each way to and from school. Primary schools won't even let children out of the building until a supervising adult turns up to collect them.

The only reason pit bulls were ever bred was to create a dog to fight and intimidate.

The only reason bullies were ever bred was to create a dog to fight and intimidate, but just sufficiently different from a pit bull it wasn't already banned. Which is an indictment of the legislation which was insufficiently flexible, which should have already banned them.

Dogs can become, either deliberately, or inadvertently through incompetence, offensive weapons. We ban the public from owning the kind of knives and guns whose point is to be offensive weapons, because it's unnecessary. I don't care whether pit bulls can be kind and loving, that's not why they exist in the first place, and we don't need them. Plenty of other loving dogs are available for people who want them. They should be regulated out of existence, along with everything else that can be misused like that. Because that fear and harm is unnecessary. I'll take being bitten by a chihuahua any day over the fear produced by large scary dogs with big teeth and jaws that lock.

Ideally we should make people fully responsible for the actions of their pets - which apparently they aren't atmo - and force them to get 3rd party insurance for it. Then the insurance companies will help drive out poor owners and risky breeds. But we don't do that either, for the same reasons of influence we don't properly regulate drivers.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Sep 12, 2023 8:45 am

bjn wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 8:07 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 7:18 pm
monkey wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 4:54 pm


A kid got killed, this is a fairly standard response in the UK - outrage in the press followed by politicians saying they will do something about it.
It's the standard response to these sorts of deaths. But when kids get killed in other ways the response is often much more muted. Compare the response from Braverman to the recent Wimbledon school crash, where a woman crashed a Land Rover into a school, killing two pupils and injuring multiple other people. Her response to that was that she was “saddened to hear about the tragic incident”. Where's the rush to ban luxury SUVs? Or even condemn dangerous driving?

1,694 children between 0 and 15 years old were killed or seriously injured on the roads between 2019 and 2021. That's an average of just over 2 a day.

I don't understand why a dog attack gets a 'we must ban these dogs!' while deaths from cars get a 'we're sorry'. It's almost like we've decided that some deaths are acceptable.
Because Tory ministers know people who own SUVs, and indeed they quite likely own an SUV. They don't kill people with their car, and obviously it's not the sort of thing their sort of people do, plus restricting ownership of large cars is an affront to 'FREEDOM!' and Daily Mail readers across the land (whose editor likely own an SUV). Meanwhile, people who own XL Bullys are very Non-U so it's OK to tell them what to do. Picking on an outgroup in an useless attempt to fix a problem that has a different cause, while looking tough is what you should expect from this lot.
Being a boring risk guy for a minute, I would say it's because the more common a mode of death is, the less value we give an instance of it. Road deaths happen a fair amount, so they're less interesting and therefore less valuable to prevent. Rail deaths happen much less, so they're more interesting and we're prepared to spend more to prevent a single death.
bjn wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2023 5:55 pm
Science Vs did a pod on how dangereous are pit bulls in April this year. Basically the stats saying pitbulls are especially viscious are pants, chihuahuas are more aggressive, though pitbulls (and similar shaped dogs like mastiffs) have way stronger bites, so if they do bite you you are much more likely to be injured. I'd assume that its similar for XL Bullies.

A bigger correletion semed to be how the dog was treated by their owners...
One study looked at over 200 dog bite fatalities from across ten years and they found that 76% of the time the dogs that killed someone were, quote, kept isolated from regular positive human interactions, unquote. Like I talked to Anna McNeill about this - she said to picture a dog that's like always tied up outside.
https://gimletmedia.com/shows/science-v ... o-the-bone

transcript

https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2P ... ZCcEIy/pub
"Danger" is risk. Risk is both frequency and consequence. A chihuahua might be the most aggressive little dickbag in the world but its murderousness is restricted largely to rodent-sized creatures. A bigger dog with a less frequently unhinged personality but that is capable of tearing other dogs, children or even adults apart, is a riskier dog.

I didn't really want to develop an opinion on this but I can't currently prevent myself from agreeing with LPM. Dangerous dogs are a menace. Maybe only 1% of Bully XLs or whatever other dogs turn into c.nts and rip children's faces off. That's still too many. Banning them is absolutely a fair response. Not the only response, perhaps, but why can't there be breeds of dogs which it's illegal to own, with a heavy fine or jail sentence for owning or breeding them? We do the same with dangerous knives, guns are banned, and if there started a trend for dickheads to drive around in cars with bayonets on the front that'd probably get banned as well.

Maybe certain breeds which can go either way, like Staffies, should require both breeding and owners' licences, with breeders being responsible for ensuring adequate certified training has been undertaken by owners, and with mandatory behavioural checks once a year or something undertaken by a regulator paid for by the licences. But that's a regulatory system that no tory government is going to create, including Starmer's one.
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Tessa K
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Tessa K » Tue Sep 12, 2023 8:48 am

I wonder if people are less likely to report being bitten by their own dogs rather than someone else's dog?

Obviously if it's a serious bite requiring hospital treatment there would be some record but I don't think the police would get involved??

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by IvanV » Tue Sep 12, 2023 9:12 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 8:45 am
Being a boring risk guy for a minute, I would say it's because the more common a mode of death is, the less value we give an instance of it. Road deaths happen a fair amount, so they're less interesting and therefore less valuable to prevent. Rail deaths happen much less, so they're more interesting and we're prepared to spend more to prevent a single death.
In fact we have public spending tests, that put a value on deaths, and this is a required input on decisions on how much we spend on changes to reduce deaths. We do in fact spend a lot of money reducing road deaths precisely because it can save many lives, and hence high benefit as quantified. (Though of course the smart motorways thing has been a bit controversial in that area, which I will not go into now.) Though this doesn't stop attention-seeking politicians introducing regulations because one person died in a rare but seemingly unnecessary way.

The real issue of distorted safety spending on the roads in Britain is that road danger is created by behavioural/conduct factors as well as road design factors. We spend an awful lot less on behavioural/conduct factors, in relation to the life saving it can assist, relative to road construction to reduce danger. And I think that's because it's easy to point to a concrete central barrier or whatever and see what your spending created, and much harder to point to improved road behaviour/conduct, and see where your money went and what value it produced.

There is currently a proposal to create a road safety investigation body of similar status to air and rail investigation bodies. But it will not, usually, investigate specific incidents like the rail and air ones do, because road deaths are numerous and it requires a wider statistical approach, not a detailed every case approach. Though more detailed and accurate data on individual accidents would be useful to help understand the data.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Sep 12, 2023 9:36 am

IvanV wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 9:12 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 8:45 am
Being a boring risk guy for a minute, I would say it's because the more common a mode of death is, the less value we give an instance of it. Road deaths happen a fair amount, so they're less interesting and therefore less valuable to prevent. Rail deaths happen much less, so they're more interesting and we're prepared to spend more to prevent a single death.
In fact we have public spending tests, that put a value on deaths, and this is a required input on decisions on how much we spend on changes to reduce deaths.
We do indeed, and I've applied them myself to decisions for the railway. What's of note though is that whilst the RSSB issues a value of preventing a fatality (VPF), which has floated around £2m for some time now (and is a similar number on roads), there's also a Gross Disproportion Factor (GDF) which is then layered on top, multiplying the VPF and thus determining the "worth" of any particular safety measure and is much harder to systematise. As the ORR says,
ORR wrote:The Courts have decided that risk control measures should be deemed reasonable unless the cost of the measure is grossly disproportionate when compared to the risk. There is no single algorithm which can be used to determine gross disproportion; it is a case-bycase, site-by-site judgement.

...

Gross disproportion is a matter of informed judgement on a case-by-case basis for the duty holder. ORR does not set out what an appropriate gross
disproportion factor would be for a level crossing. That is for two key reasons. Firstly, a single factor cannot be used for such a variety of circumstances as those found at level crossings and secondly, the choice of factor should take account of the degree of risk involved, and the potential for significant harm, which can only be determined on a case-by-case basis.

...

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established a rule of thumb as to how gross disproportion factors should be used. This suggests that a factor of up to 3 (i.e. costs three times larger than benefits) is appropriate where there is risk to workers, a factor of 2 is appropriate for low risk to members of the public, and a factor of up to 10 for high risk to members of the public.
When we were attempting to find a way to create initial stabs at portfolio-level modelling of likely crossing renewals, taking into account safety-related enhancements, the GDF and the very specific nature of each crossing made it a nightmare. But the £2m gets multiplied up usually by at least 2, typically 3-6 and sometimes by 10. I'm not sure that road safety interventions are necessarily tested in quite the same way, not least because national highways and local councils are sh.t at whole life costing.
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