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The Academic Impostor Behind the Pit Bull Hysteria

Armory of the Revolution


This originally appeared in the Huffington Post

The Academic Impostor Behind the Pit Bull Hysteria

By Douglas Anthony Cooper

The most influential advocate for the eradication of pit bulls is an academic fraud. Merritt Clifton is prominent not simply because he has been making noise for decades, but because he uniquely claims to be a rigorous statistician: a scholarly expert. People who hate pit bulls lean on this man’s putative expertise.

And he’s a charlatan.

The loudest voice in favor of eliminating pit bulls in Canada is probably Barbara Kay, a journalist with the National Post. Her campaign is largely successful: Canada has some of the most punitive breed-specific laws (BSL) in the world. And she told me proudly, in an email:

My primary source, you will not be surprised to learn, is animal-industry historian and investigative reporter for more than 40 years, Merritt Clifton, until recently editor of 

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