Taiwan bans import of pit bulls over safety concerns

 Taiwan is tightening its regulation on dogs it deems to be aggressive with an import ban on several breeds of pit pull to take effect in late October.

The Bureau of Foreign Trade on Monday (Aug. 17) added two breeds to the list of animals prohibited from importation: American pit bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers. The rule will go into effect after 60 days.

The move is part of the government’s efforts to discourage keeping canines it believes have aggressive tendencies. Last year, the Council of Agriculture (COA) announced a ban on the import, export, and ownership of pure and mix breeds of pit bull terriers after the country saw a rise in attacks involving the animal.

Owners of such dogs are allowed to keep them as pets but are required to register them. As of Sept. 15 last year, there were 405 registered pit bull-type dogs in Taiwan, reported UDN.

The country currently categorizes six types of dogs as aggressive breeds: pit pull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Neopolitan Mastiffs, Dogo Argentinos, Fila Brazilieros, and mastiffs. The term "pit bull terriers" here includes the American pit bull terrier or American pit bull, the Staffordshire bull terrier, and the American Staffordshire terrier.

Owners must ensure the canines are leashed and muzzled when going out or face a fine of between NT$30,000 (US$1,075) and NT$150,000, pursuant to the Animal Protection Act (動保法).

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