The blood sport of dog fighting in Bahrain has been crippled by the decision of the Ministry of Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture to ban the import of 17 predatory animals, including pit bulls, said Bahraini animal welfare activist Fathiya Al Bastaki while welcoming the ban.
Commending the ministry’s decision, the esteemed activist said the move essentially reduces the likelihood and incidence of dog fighting in the future.
“Any change is a good start in the right direction,” Fathiya said. Terming the decision as a progressive step, she expressed hope that more such reforms will follow.
According to the renowned campaigner, bulls in Bahrain were staging dog-fighting performances with pit bulls for years, thus subjecting the animals to cruelty.
“For about seven to eight years, animal rights activists have been pleading with the authorities to ban this practice and to close down the locations where people would hold these inhumane dog fights.
Breeders would modify the training and food of the pit bulls so that they would turn wild and then exploit the animals through these fights,” Fathiya said.
Nonetheless, even after the animals were forced to fight in the gruesome shows, the pit bulls’ punishments if they lost were completely barbaric, she stated, adding that some were reportedly burned alive.
Thus, the ministry’s decision ensures Bahrain’s environmental safety as well as assists in the regulation of animal imports and the development of more responsible ownership practices, Fathiya stated.
The ministry’s resolution
The ministry’s resolution (Decision No. 100/2023) enforces an import ban that includes four dog breeds as well as lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, hyenas, foxes, wolves, crocodiles, baboons, green monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, various spider species, snakes, and more.
Dog breeds that have been banned include pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, Tosa dogs, Presa Canario, and mastiffs, along with hybrids involving these breeds.