Why Are Akitas Banned in Singapore?

by Rebecca Bragg
The Akita, a large, powerful guarding breed, is banned in Singapore.

The Akita, a large, powerful guarding breed, is banned in Singapore.

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Like many Asian countries, Singapore has a street dog problem; some of these homeless animals are abandoned pets. Close to 40 percent of the population of 5.4 million people in this tiny, prosperous city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula consists of foreigners. Legislation that took effect in November 2010 is intended to prevent foreigners from importing from their native lands certain dog breeds deemed dangerous by the government of Singapore. One of these is the Akita.

Expats and Foreign Dogs

Much of Singapore's expat population is connected to 121 foreign high commissions, embassies, consulates and international organizations. The rescue group Action for Singapore Dogs estimates that about 10,000 dogs roam the streets there. Though no estimates of how many may have been left behind when foreigners returned home, Singapore's "dangerous dogs" ban covers eight breeds, all foreign to that part of Asia and deemed by the government to be aggressive by nature.

The Akita and Other Banned Breeds

Whether the Akita, bred in Japan to guard royalty and hunt bears, deserves to be considered dangerous is debated even in the United States. The American Kennel Club notes that the breed's temperament can be unpredictable. They should "always be supervised around small children and other animals." Another Japanese breed, the tosa inu, also is prohibited, along with the pit bull under any of the formal or colloquial breed names used for it, the Neapolitan mastiff, dogo Argentino, boerboel, presa canario and fila Brasileiro. Mongrels with these breeds in their bloodlines also are banned.

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