The ACO reiterates the registration obligation for pit bulls
Prospective dog owners should be aware that from March 1, American Pit Bulls and American Staffordshire Terriers can no longer be owned without being registered, the Council on Agriculture (COA) has said.
The new regulations were introduced after a spate of pit bull terrier attacks, including one in which a three-year-old boy died after being attacked by a neighbor’s dog in Pingtung County in December of Last year.
The council classifies six dog breeds as “aggressive”: pit bull terriers, tosas, Neapolitan mastiffs, Brazilian mastiffs, Argentine mastiffs and other mastiffs.
Photo courtesy of Kaohsiung City Animal Welfare Bureau via CNA
Animal Husbandry Department Deputy Director Chiang Wen-chuan (江文全) has asked owners of American pit bulls and American Staffordshire terriers to register their dogs by March 1 because the council has listed these breeds in an amendment to the Animal Welfare Law (動物保護法).
The amendment, which came into force on October 26 last year, classifies both types of terriers as “race(s) of animals the ownership, export and import of which have been prohibited by the competent central authority,” he said.
Owners and importers of both breeds who acquired or will acquire their dogs before March 1 must register them by February 28 next year, he said.
Dogs must be registered in the city or county where the owner resides, Chiang said, urging owners to notify authorities of address changes.
The law also prohibits the breeding of American pit bulls and American Staffordshire terriers, he said.
Government-registered breeders would be allowed to continue breeding the dogs as long as they register all puppies after birth, Chiang said.
However, dogs born after the registration requirement came into effect cannot be used for further breeding, he said.
From March 1, owners of both breeds will only be able to sell their dogs to people with experience owning dogs of the respective breed, Chiang said.
Those who violate the new rules would face fines of NT$50,000 to NT$250,000, he said.
However, because the amendment narrowly defines the breeds affected, owners of other types of pit bulls would not face additional restrictions, Chiang said.
Since pit bulls are generally classified as “aggressive”, they can only be walked in public by an adult and must be leashed and muzzled at all times.
Data from the Department of Animal Industry shows that as of December 15 last year, 199 American pit bulls and 31 American Staffordshire terriers had been registered, while 2,407 pit bulls of other breeds had been registered.
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