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The state government reacted by enacting legislation to ban the sale, exchange, distribution, importation and husbandry etc of Amercian Pit ... them out of existence". The aim is clearly eugenic, but is this semantically accurate? Can one breed some gene out?

Yes but:

1. The spokesman did not say these Australians soughtto eliminate the violence gene; he said the aim was by reproductive control (e.g. neutering) to eliminate dangerous dogs.

2. If the violence gene (or gene complex) could be reliablylocated, and if it were not otherwise essential to the animal's life, health and reproduction, it would nowadays be theoretically possible to maintain the species but eliminate the violence gene from the gene pool. But it would be very expensive and very intrusive:
which is probably why the law focussed on the animals rather than the genes.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
There are no bad dogs just bad owners.

People say that about dogs fouling footpaths. But it's definitely the dogs - I've seen them do it. Phil C.

In the U.S.A. we have pooper scooper laws, it solves that problem quite nicely.
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And that is routinely done in breeding for improvement. For ... considered an error, and kinked tails are rarely seem nowadays.

That's sad news! We used to have Siamese, and the proper kinked tail was one of their lovable features, ... characteristic features and end up with a Disneyfied version of the original. It reminds me of supermarket tomatoes. Mike.

The AKC breeds for deformity.
That's sad news! We used to have Siamese, ... the original. It reminds me of supermarket tomatoes. Mike.

The AKC breeds for deformity.

Yeah. I've seen some of their kids.

Ray
The state government reacted by enacting legislation to ban thesale, ... but is thissemantically accurate? Can one breed some gene out?

Yes but: 1. The spokesman did not say these Australians sought to eliminate the violence gene; he said the aim ... is probably why the law focussed on the animals rather than the genes. Don Phillipson Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)

You've just traversed the two chief problems. Locating a violence gene is going to be near impossible in practice. And then, working out what is also on it or what else it's working with is going to be an order of magnitude higher than that. People who know a good deal more about genetics than I are now exploring the idea that the genes may only account for 20% of what we generally assume to be genetic.

Another curiosity, and I'd be interested to be corrected on this, is that the American Staffy was supposed to have been bred as a gentle dog. Certainly, if that's true, then we're nowhere near working out what gene causes violence in any event.
I am a dog owner. I foster dogs. I also know that in Australia more people are bitten by Maltese Terriers than Pit Bulls. Of course, the consequences of being bitten by a Maltese Terrier don't usually require more than local anaesthetic. And Pit Bulls are a lot better at escaping.
A Pit Bull can apply the same pressure at its jaws as a Bengal Tiger. It's a very large and powerful animal, and highly territorial. Occasionally they can startle, and being terriers they are twitchy. I do wonder why anyone would want an animal like that. Certainly, as the neighbour of someone with one of those, you do need to be sure they are doing the right thing with the dog.
It's true that one can object to other large and even medium-sized dogs on the same basis. Yet on the whole these are far more predictable, and far less powerful.
FRAN
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People say that about dogs fouling footpaths. But it's definitely the dogs - I've seen them do it.

In the U.S.A. we have pooper scooper laws, it solves that problem quite nicely.

Well, not everywhere in the USA. There's no such law where I live, but people generally clean up after their dogs anyway.

Maria Conlon
Recently in the state of NSW, here in Australia we had another of those "Amercian pit bull mauls child" events. ... them out of existence". The aim is clearly eugenic, but is this semantically accurate? Can one breed some gene out?

No one said anything about "breeding out" a trait. The phrase with "out" was "out of existence." They don't want the dogs to breed, and they want that kind of dog to die off.
But given that, you're right that it still sounds a bit odd to use a positive word like "breeding" with a negative phrase like "out of existence." They want to neuter the breed out of existence, more like.

Best Donna Richoux
Recently in the state of NSW, here in Australia we ... is this semantically accurate? Can one breed some gene out?

No one said anything about "breeding out" a trait. The phrase with "out" was "out of existence." They don't want ... like "out of existence." They want to neuter the breed out of existence, more like. Best Donna Richoux

All that does is cause them to get shepards and raise them to be mean. A standard poodle is as dangerous as any dog.
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But given that, you're right that it still sounds a ... want to neuter the breed out of existence, more like.

All that does is cause them to get shepards and raise them to be mean. A standard poodle is as dangerous as any dog.

But it is more funny looking.

"That is not true, that is such a lie."
"You must not call everything a lie, Martha, must she?" "Hell, I don't know when you people are lying or what." "You're damn right."
"You're not supposed to."
+-Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
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