It was announced last month that there is now a database called the Canine Combined DNA Index System which was created by UC Davis ostensibly to prove dog fighters are using certain bloodlines. Certainly the public will believe that the database will be used for its stated purposes, but knowing that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the ASPCA are attached to the project makes the database’s proper usage dubious. Why? Because of the ASPCA’s Mission:Orange campaign (or mission guardianship I guess you could call it) and because the HSUS has known domestic terrorist ties (and all the v-neck sweaters and the manscaped eyebrows of HSUS president Wayne Pacelle can’t change the HSUS’ history). The HSUS’ lobbying techniques are…let’s just say questionable as well.
Haven’t we seen this before? Didn’t they tell us about 5 years ago that DNA testing for “pit bulls” was possible? Yeah, not so much. And indeed, we waited a few weeks before writing about this one just to see what the fallout would be. Seems others are questioning the true purpose of the database too. BlueDogState quips,
If your dog goes back to fighting dogs, you’re going to jail and your dog has to die. The database ‘proves’ it.
Another way to put that is, if you own an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any other dog breed that hundreds of years ago was bred for traits that might lend themselves to being exploited by dog fighters, your ownership of your dog, even if it’s a house pet, could be in question. (And breed fanciers should always make the clarification that no dog is bred to fight. Dogs are trained to fight, and as Michael Vick’s dogs showed, they can be rehabilitated and go on to make perfectly pleasing house pets regardless of their history.) Think, too, about how many dogs could potentially be killed since the HSUS’ stance on dogs trained to fight is that they should be killed. If the HSUS’ call for all of Vick’s former dogs to be killed is any indication — even though all but one passed temperament testing and went on to be rehabilitated, fostered, and even adopted back out — then yes, this database could spell death for countless innocent dogs.
Breed fanciers know all too well the dirty tactics of the HSUS which has a history of burning the radical animal rights candle at both ends. On the one end of the burning candle, they push unconstitutional breed-specific legislation behind the scenes. On the other end, they push onerous and unconstitutional “puppy mill” legislation which serves only to so severely scrutinize dog breeders that they will be forced out of breeding. And when the two ends of that burning candle meet, you’ll have…well, let’s let HSUS president Wayne Pacelle explain it himself:
We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding. (Animal People, May, 1993.)
The question is, who’s doing the extincting?
The American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA) also had to calm the fears of their members, adding this comment to BlueDogState’s post which read in part:
…The article stated that the University of California at Davis Veterinary Genetic laboratory is the testing laboratory for the SPCA. The registries (ADBA, UKC and AKC) all use MMI Genomics for their DNA analysis and these two genetic laboratories use different systems that are not similar. ( i.e. they analize different alleles) For idenity or parentage you have to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges for it to be valid. I know this sound like a witch hunt, but we still have courts of law that requires legal use of evidence.
A fighting dog is a dog that is trained, conditioned and has been fought. It is not a dog bred from fighting lines. In the same way that a search and rescue dog is a dog that has been trained and used for search and rescue. Just because his mother and father have been used for search and rescue does not mean that he will be a search and rescue dog, unless he is trained and conditioned and used for this purpose. He might have inherited all of the physical and mental abilities to excell in this function, but unless he is trained and use for this purpose, guess what ¦. He is NOT a search and rescue dog. This is the same situation that we have when folks try to say that your dog is a fighting dog because one of his ancestors was used for fighting. Considering the breed history, if the SPCA, HSUS and others could use this argument in court, then there is no APBT or American Staffordshire Terrier that would stand a chance, because as our history shows, ALL come down from fighting dogs, as this was the original purpose of the breed back in the day.
Be assured that the ADBA is fighting for the breed and its owners and we will use all of our resources to protect and safeguard. We want responsible owners to get their dogs out to our clubs show and pulls to show off these dogs in a positive light. The only dog owners that have anything to fear are those that are using their dogs for illegal purposes.
Amy G. Burford
American Dog Breeders Association Inc.
I wish I could share in Ms. Burford’s confidence that the only dog owners that have something to fear are those who use their dogs for illegal purposes. Unfortunately, if you are familiar with the Floyd Boudreaux case, you know that the only “guilt” required to come under the scrutiny of the HSUS is to own a “pit bull” (or God forbid, many “pit bulls”).
Worse, while extolling the supposed virtues of the Canine Combined DNA Index System database, San Antonio Animal Control Service veterinarian Dr. Melissa Draper told channel 5 in San Antonio that,
With more and more studies linking people who abuse animals to other violent crimes against humans…there’s an increasing need to successfully prosecute animal abusers, and when the victims cant speak, many hope DNA will make the case.
Ahh, I see. So this database is going to be the modern-day equivalent of phrenology.
What is phrenology you ask? Well, in the late 1700s and early 1800s, it was a psychological theory and analytical method based on the belief that certain mental faculties and character traits could be determined by the configurations of one’s skull. So in other words, if you had an oddly-shaped head or a bump on your skull, you could have been determined to be a criminal, or have the potential to be a criminal, and be treated accordingly. (This “theory” was widely debunked by the way and is now something of an embarrassment to the field of psychology.) Still, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Hitler use a similar justification: that certain groups needed to be removed in order to ethnically “cleanse” society? This works for “pit bulls” and their owners too. One could make a specious argument that the mere ownership of a “pit bull” makes the dog and its owner bad at the same time, potentially “cleansing” society of both. The dog(s) would end up dead, and the owner would end up…let’s just say incarcerated.
Beyond my utter disdain and sarcasm, the point is that an automatic linking of what a radical animal rights group calls “abuse” (which, if they were honest, they’d tell you in their minds is the ownership of domesticated animals, period) to a possible or potential escalation in crimes, is nothing more than punishing people for Minority-Report-style pre-crimes. Meanwhile, animal rights groups like the HSUS and/or local law enforcement or Animal Controls get to confiscate your animals and either sell them at a profit, or kill them all. Sounds like a racket doesn’t it, which would make them racketeers.
So, in the final analysis, I think breed fanciers will see that this database is just the next generation of breed-specific-type harassment with the pretense of science and legality. However, instead of breed-specific legislation, which is now worldwide known to be ineffective, they’ll just label you a dog fighter because you have a “pit bull.” They’ve been doing that for years anyway, insinuating or outright saying that the only owners of this “breed” “pit bull” (and “pit bull” is not actually a breed) are dog fighters, drug dealers, gang bangers, and other unsavory dregs of the “unwashed masses.” It’s all quite elitist, really. But I doubt that radical animal rights groups, or the politicos they purchase, really care if we think they’re racist or classist any more than the queen cares if the proletariat is unhappy. In their minds, might (and money and influence) makes right.
One response to “Will Dog Fighting DNA Database Nab Dog Fighters, or Just Regular Ol’ Dog Owners?”
I should also mention that this canine DNA database has been compared to the FBI’s CODIS which stores human DNA profiles from criminal offenders and crime scenes. The UK — which has a similar database for storing human fingerprints and DNA — according to Privacy International, “leads the way in development of a Global DNA Database.”
“The UK currently maintains the largest DNA Database in the world and is encouraging other governments to implement similar systems in their respective countries. Using international organisations such as Interpol, participant governments will be able to share and exchange the DNA profiles of their citizens subject to vague legislative provisions, such as ‘the interests of crime detection and prevention’.”
It will certainly interest folks to know that the UK’s DNA database, which currently holds detailed information on more than 4.5 million individuals in the United Kingdom, started out as a database containing fingerprints (a database that now holds 6.5 million fingerprints), and that, as noted, that information is shared between countries via Interpol.
And according to the UK Daily Mail, “around a third of all the DNA stored [within the database] is taken from individuals who were not charged with any offence, and have no criminal record.” (Emphasis mine.)
The Daily Mail went on to say that,
“In the past, police could take a DNA sample only from suspects who were charged with a criminal offence, and it was destroyed if they were subsequently cleared or a prosecution dropped./But under reforms introduced in 2000 officers no longer have to erase innocent people’s entries.”
So do you see the escalation here? The UK database started out with fingerprints, then moved on to DNA, then it was DNA collected from people who weren’t even adjudicated criminals. The collecting of private information — whether fingerprints or DNA — seems to have a history of being abused in Big Brother-types of ways. So why would we expect anything less for a canine CODIS?