A Kaohsiung man has been sentenced to 35 days of penal servitude after his unleashed pit bull terrier injured a woman.
On Aug. 3 last year, the man, surnamed Chen (陳), was walking his two dogs, the pit bull and a Thai ridgeback, without leashes, when the pit bull attacked a shiba inu belonging to a woman surnamed Lee (李).
Lee attempted to separate her dog from the pit bull, but fell and sustained injuries to her head, right arm and legs, a hospital report showed.
She was also diagnosed with dizziness, acute stress and anxiety, the report showed.
Lee reported Chen, and although he told authorities that he had not leashed his animals, no settlement was reached.
A Ciaotou District Court judge, who heard the case on Jan. 5, said that Chen should have leashed his dogs, and that his negligence led to Lee and her dog being attacked, causing physical and emotional harm.
Chen’s 35-day sentence can be commuted to a fine.
The Animal Protection Act (動物保護法) stipulates that “aggressive” breeds “in a public place or venue with public access must have adult human company who shall take precaution to protect the public,” which is taken to mean leashing or even muzzling of such animals.
The Council of Agriculture categorizes six breeds of dogs as “aggressive”: American pit bull terriers, pit bull terrier crossbreeds, Tosa, or Japanese mastiffs, Neapolitan mastiffs, Brazilian mastiffs and dogo Argentinos.
Fines for contravening the rules can be from NT$30,000 to NT$150,000.
From March 1, people would be prohibited from keeping unregistered pit bull terriers as pets and imports of the breed would be banned.
Pit bull terrier owners must register their animals before Feb. 28 or face a fine of up to NT$250,000 and have their dogs seized and taken to a public shelter, the council said.
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