Formal Announcement of termination of Pit Bull Show Sports at PBFSA Shows – May 2018
The PBFSA’ Executive Committee has taken the decision to terminate the three pit bull show sports as of today 29 May 2018. This decision was taken after long deliberation, and after careful consultation with veterinarians, animal behaviourists and other specialists.
As the oldest standing pit bull show organisation in South Africa we feel it is time to take the lead and move into the 21 Century. The show sports and the intense aggressive competitive behaviour and win at all cost attitude they bring out in show exhibitors have led to a decline in the concern for the welfare of these dogs. It has been noted by more than one animal behaviourist that dogs competing in these events exhibit various behavioural problems, some of which are indicative of a scared and unhappy dog. After consultation with various vets and veterinary specialists, it has become clear that these sports can cause physical injury and damage to the dogs. This may not always be visible until much later on in the dogs’ life.
The show sports have also not done much for the image of the breed. They portray our breed as muscle bound machines, capable of hanging onto a piece of conveyor for hours on end, dogs capable of jumping meters in the air, and dogs with the strength to pull tons. When we considered how this could be interpreted by the public we realised that we owe it to our breed to think responsibly.
The show sports are also having a damaging effect on the breed. Breeders are no longer breeding APBTs’ according to breed standard, but are instead breeding weight pulling, high jumping or long hanging dogs. There has been a decline in sound temperaments, and dogs conforming to the breed standard.
Thus, the PBFSA will now only host Conformation Shows for now. We understand that this announcement is going to come as a shock to pit bull owners across the country. But it is time that we took a heavy handed stance for the sake of the breed we love.