ONE of the ugly developments made possible by social media was seen in action yesterday.
A public-spirited and entirely laudable effort by Meath councillor Alan Tobin to make people aware of the threat posed by some breeds of powerful, aggressive dogs has provoked a huge and irrational response on Facebook.
Mr Tobin started this storm by asking his local council to erect signs giving details of the breeds controlled under legislation. The online reaction was utterly disproportionate and dangerously ignorant. Mr Tobin’s post of the council poster was shared over 56,000 times and attracted some 110,000 comments, the great majority of which are negative. Many were abusive.
This suggests that those who criticised the move do not accept that these unfortunate breeds can be utterly savage, dangerous and all but impossible to control when in a frenzy — the very objective of their breeders. This preposterous position is made all the more unattractive when that delusion is used as the basis for criticism of an entirely worthwhile public initiative. Many owners of attack dogs insist that they are docile pets and “wouldn’t harm a fly”. Therefore, they can have no objection to legislation being strengthened to make them solely responsible for their dogs’ actions. These unfortunate but dangerous animals are utterly inappropriate for an urban setting and it is time for far more effective controls.
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