Recently in the state of NSW, here in Australia we had another of those "Amercian pit bull mauls child" events.
The state government reacted by enacting legislation to ban the sale, exchange, distribution, importation and husbandry etc of Amercian Pit Bulls, Japanese Tosers (sp?), Argentine Fighting Dogs and a range of others declared to be "dangerous dogs". People in possession of such dogs were required to have them desexed.
The spokesman for the government said that they intended to "breed them out of existence". The aim is clearly eugenic, but is this semantically accurate? Can one breed some gene out?
cheers
Chrissy
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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?

You can take their genes out of the Aussie gene pool by making all members of that breed incapable of reproducing. There's yappy dingoes running around killing kids and yet they are worried to death over some fellow's pet pit bull. Just about figures.

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

There are no bad dogs just bad owners. "Pit Bulls" a breed invented by the press is a catch all term for dogs with blunt muzzles , most are usually American Staffordshire Terriers, raised right they are lovely ,friendly dogs. The problem is macho fools who want a tough dog aquire them and raise them to be viscious thinking that that in turn makes them tough. Any dog in the wrong hands can be dangerous.
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Recently in the state of NSW, here in Australia we ... thissemantically accurate? Can one breed some gene out? cheers Chrissy

There are no bad dogs just bad owners. "Pit Bulls" a breed inventedby the press is a catch all term ... them to be viscious thinking that that in turn makes them tough. Anydog in the wrong hands can be dangerous.

True, but if badly owned dog escapes, I'd prefer to be savaged by a chihuahua than an "American Staffordshire".
FRAN
Recently in the state of NSW, here in Australia we ... thissemantically accurate? Can one breed some gene out? cheers Chrissy

There are no bad dogs just bad owners. "Pit Bulls" a breed inventedby the press is a catch all term ... them to be viscious thinking that that in turn makes them tough. Anydog in the wrong hands can be dangerous.

MWCD11 dates "pit bull" to 1950, under its entry for "American pit bull terrier." Since I don't remember ever having heard the term when I was a boy, I expect that it is only in recent years that the subject has become of general interest to the press and public.

The Collegiate's entry does indeed identify the term as covering a number of breeds. The following looks like an interesting twist on the whole subject, however. It's from the site of the All-American Pit Bull Association.
From
http://www.aapba.com/breedstandard/
(quote)
A.A.P.B.A. basis for conformation standards: This basis was designed specifically to improve on the standard of the entire American Pit Bull terrier breed as a whole. The misrepresentation of multiple breed standards due to different registries misleading views has separated and confused breeders for years to fill their ranks. The .A.A.P.B.A. took it upon itself to remedy this treachery by developing a breed standard that supersedes all others, and unites the entire breed under one standard. The All American Pit Bull Association breed standard.

(end quote)

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Recently in the state of NSW, here in Australia we had another ofthose "Amercian pit bull mauls child" events. The ... out of existence". The aim is clearly eugenic, but is thissemantically accurate? Can one breed some gene out? cheers Chrissy

What breeders do is breed a characteristic in or out. It would be rare to breed out a gene, because first you would have to have identified the gene, and then you would have to cause a mutation in that particular gene or wait for a mutation to happen in that particular gene. But breeding a characteristic out of a plant or animal is easier, because for any given characteristic, a number of genes are usually responsible, so a number of mutations might do the trick.

A bit of trivia: According to Jared Diamond (in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel) the sweet almond is different from the bitter almond because of the mutation in one gene only. So early cultivators of sweet almonds would have found that sweet almonds bred true, although they would not have known why, of course.

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
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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?

Literally no, of course.
But it is possible to breed a particular phrase on a gene out.

And that is routinely done in breeding for improvement. For example, the first siamese cats in the West
tended to have kinked tails.
This was considered an error,
and kinked tails are rarely seem nowadays.
Good properties can also be bred out.
A sad example is the polycoon.
(A Maine Coon with an extra functional toe,
about 25% in the original 'wild' population)
American breeders have decided this is an 'error'
and they are probably going to succeed in stamping out a truly American characteristic in cats.
For dogs it is not going to work:
little men who think they need mean dogs to be somebody will cross the forbidden races with others,
and come up with new breeds of mean dog.
Best,
Jan
And that is routinely done in breeding for improvement. For example, the first siamese cats in the West tended to have kinked tails. This was 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, like the growl. I never know where I stand with breed societies: they do preserve bloodlines, but look what the Kennel Club and such-like did to cocker spaniels. At their worst, they seem to latch on to a few characteristic features and end up with a Disneyfied version of the original. It reminds me of supermarket tomatoes.

Mike.
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.
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