In a recent newspaper article, the highly respected animal behaviourist Dr Roger Mugford spoke about Lennox and the global campaign to save Lennox.
Witch-hunt of maligned breeds is shameful
Lennox has become an icon for dog lovers worldwide. There are lots of other dogs like Lennox, all equally deserving and mistreated by the authorities. It is right that this one is seen as an ambassador for the hundreds that have been killed on the back of indiscriminate dog control. I’m glad that the internet has made the stupidity towards dogs in Northern Ireland known across the globe. It is important that people know just how unfair this situation is. The campaign to save Lennox has only been made possible through social networking on Facebook and other sites. I don’t know how they have managed to galvanise such widespread support, but it has been effective across the globe. Lennox’s story is a very powerful message and it is quite right that it has warmed the hearts of thousands of people.
There’s lots of legal mumbo-jumbo about pitbull terrier-types, classed because their ears are so long and their chests are so deep. The reason Lennox’s case is so popular is because of people’s hatred of breed-specific legislation. It is like saying ‘let’s get rid of redheads or people with long noses because of how they look’. We would be up in arms if this was about humans, so why aren’t we more excited about stopping the laws governing animals? Scientifically, there is no evidence of any relationship between aggression and the breed of dog.
I do not condone any of the violence or threats that have surrounded the campaign. We need to be sensible about this. We should be ashamed of how we have treated this dog.
Dr Roger Mugford is an animal behaviour expert and leading campaigner against unjust treatment of dogs. He founded the Animal Behaviour Centre in 1979.