DA Takes on Companion Animal Breeding Crisis

Issued by Hannah Winkler MP – DA Member on the Portfolio Committee on Tourism
25 Nov 2022 in News

The DA is  in the process of drafting a Private Member’s Bill (PMB) which will outline proposed breeding and welfare regulations pertaining to both dogs and cats. The proposed regulations will provide a national standard for responsible breeding and ownership of dogs and cats which will increase protection for both humans and animals.

In light of the recent spate of maulings, we send our deep condolences to the families of the victims for the trauma this has inflicted on the families and their communities.

This loss of life could have been avoided had the government adopted national regulations on the breeding and keeping of dogs, especially power breeds, in response to the call from civil society and South Africans that have been voiced for years.

We also condemn any call to inflict violence on dog breeds as has been agitated by other political parties. Cruelty towards animals is illegal and any individual engaged in any criminal activities towards animals must be held accountable.

The root cause of the irresponsible proliferation of power breeds, such as pit bulls, can be traced back to the absence of national laws to regulate the breeding and responsible ownership of dogs.

With no national regulations to govern the breeding and welfare of dogs and cats, this legislative gap has resulted in an animal welfare crisis that has been unfolding for years across South Africa and is directly responsible for the population explosion of stray, surrendered, neglected and confiscated animals. The recent pit bull maulings have brought the consequences of an absence of regulations into sharp focus, as power breeds, and specifically pit bulls, have long been weaponized, abused, and bred for dog fighting and other illicit activities.

Our bill will propose a number of regulations which will speak to:

  •  The breeding and keeping of power breeds (especially pit bulls)
  • The responsible and humane breeding of dogs and cats
  • The companion animal overpopulation crisis (dogs and cats)
  • Responsible Ownership and Duty of Care
  • Companion Animal Welfare

As the DA, we will be engaging with stakeholders and civil society to draft comprehensive regulations that will seek to prevent any further loss of life in our communities and fatalities of companion animals.