Wednesday, November 23, 2016

United Kingdom: Court determines that dog in legal battle is indeed a banned pit bull

UNITED KINGDOM -- A Jersey family fighting to prove their beloved pet dog isn’t a dangerous breed have lost their legal battle.

Customs officers seized Mr Bronx when the Gomes family came back from a trip to France earlier this year.

The canine has been kept at the Animal Shelter for the last ten months.

His owners were told that the dog is a Pit bull – a so-called ‘dangerous breed’ which is not permitted in the island without a licence.

This was disputed by the family.

But yesterday, at the Civil Division of the Petty Debts Court, Magistrate Peter Harris ruled that Mr Bronx is, indeed, a Pit bull.

It means it’s now up to the Home Affairs Minister, Deputy Kristina Moore, to decide whether the dog should be granted a licence, exported from the island, or put down.

A government spokesman said: “The court has arrived at a decision, which, if it is not appealed, will now allow the Service to consider options on how best to proceed.”

Meanwhile, a JCIS spokesperson said: “The Jersey Customs and Immigration Service notes the court’s decision regarding the dog known as ‘Mr Bronx’.

“The Service is grateful to the court for providing clarity that the animal in question is subject to importation restrictions under the Island’s current legislation.

“The Service would like to emphasize that the importation of certain types of dogs is prohibited unless under the authority of a licence.

“Such dogs are considered to be potentially dangerous to the public, and include the following types:

Pit Bull Terrier
Dogo Argentino
Fila Braziliera
Japanese Tosa
Any other type that appears to have been bred for fighting

The pit bull will remain in kennelled accommodation, and the JCIS will continue to liaise with relevant parties to resolve this matter.”

A number of islanders have subsequently taken to social media, saying they are “devastated” by the ruling.

The Gomes family is yet to comment publicly.

(Channel103 - Nov 18, 2016)

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