It is a fact that currently Veterinarians are not required to report illegal (unregistered, undeclared) pit bull to authorities. I regularly see pit bull -type dogs and my policy is to care for the animal and keep my mouth shut (because I don’t agree with the restricted breed register in the first place).
Now some voices are calling for Vets to be required to report restricted breeds:
“The unregistered, un-microchipped pitbull that killed four-year-old Ayen Chol last August had been seen by vet Michael Beattie six times, the Victorian Coroners Court heard on Wednesday.
Dr Beattie, a Hoppers Crossing-based vet, had the dog listed in his records as a male American pitbull, a restricted breed under Victorian law.
The vet told the court it was his usual practice to inform owners of restricted breeds to have their animals desexed, microchipped and caged in accordance with local laws.
Compelling Vets to act as Government spies is a very bad idea.
First of all it’s impractical. Should the Vets demand registration documents before treating every pit bull looking dog?
There is, however a more important reason and it revolves around the ethics of the Veterinary profession. Right now any dog owner is confident that if needed, they can seek the help of a Veterinarian without the risk of the dog being impounded. What if for the pit bull owner the Vet becomes the enemy? Not only will these dogs not receive medical care but the owners will also be deprived of the opportunity to give healthcare and safety advice to protect the public.
I for one, would have to think long and hard weather such law would contradict my ethical obligations. I went into the Veterinary profession to be a helper and a healer, not a Government snitch. If a low is unethical and wrong, I will not hesitate to break it.