Breed Specific Legislation: Why?

Andrea Rodricks

Breed Specific Legislation, or BSL as it is more commonly known, is a way for cities and towns to place either restrictions or full bans on a certain breed of dog. Most commonly these bans are of so called dangerous breeds or even “bully breeds.” Typically the restrictions include the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds just to name a few. Additionally, there are many mixed breeds that end up being encompassed within these bans, even if the genetic make up of the dog is unknown. The dog just needs to looks like a restricted breed. In enacting these restrictions, the temperament of individual dogs is not considered, only what breed the dog appears to be.

BSL has been around for many years, but there has been more publicity surrounding it in recent years. Many times in enacting BSL, the thought behind the laws was to reduce the number of dog attacks. However, there are many studies that show that placing bans on these breeds does not reduce the number of dog attacks. Any breed of dog can attack, not just the so called dangerous breeds. Additionally, the American Veterinary Medical Association has shown that no breed of dog is anymore dangerous than any other breed. Even recently, President Obama came out against BSL, stating “Breed Specific Legislation is a bad idea.”

So why are cities still enacting BSL laws? Just as recently as October 12, 2013, in Dover, Arkansas a ban on pit bulls was approved. Residents that currently have pit bull breed dogs have 60 days to come into compliance with the law or the dog will be confiscated. Just as other cities are repealing BSL laws, other cities are still enacting them. It is any wonder how these bans are still being enacted, as the negative effects are widely known. These bans not only harm the innocent dogs that end up being confiscated because their owners don’t comply but they also take up valuable law enforcement resources when time is spent on compliance issues instead of real crimes.   As increasingly more information is learned about the ineffectiveness of these bans in preventing dog attacks, it is to be hoped that there will come a time when these ineffectual BSL laws that are plaguing cities and towns will vanish.



10 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog and commented:
    Please adopt a Pit Bull and learn the truth about these loving and intelligent living beings. Do not believe in the media hype and discriminatory laws such as BSL.

  2. Reblogged this on Freedom for Cetaceans and commented:
    Absolutely true Buddy2blogger These Dogs make wonderful pets. Our Governments definitely were looking for someone to blame and unfortunately the pit bulls got it.

  3. This is insanity!

  4. […] Our thanks to Animal Blawg, where this post originally appeared on October 29, […]

  5. I wish these officials would get their head out of their ass and learn it’s not the dog it’s the owner, they are the ones that should be in trouble !

  6. Andrea, thank you for the links to the studies that show why BSL is a mistake. In my opinion, although some people are genuinely fearful of dogs, others are hostile toward pit bulls in particular because of their association with minority groups — so I think the underlying motive for BSL in that case is racism.

  7. BSL is absolute —-.
    I have 3 adopted/rescued “bully breed” dogs and they are the best. I also have 3 cats in my family and there are no problems with them getting along.The problem is with the idiot humans that get their hands on them during the puppies’ formative years, and/or thereafter using them for “macho” nonsense. Let’s not forget the kids who get bitten are frequently unsupervised brats.

  8. Before you write another anti-BSL piece, I strongly suggest you read these articles from the animal advocacy newspaper, Animal People News. It could be that animal rights advocates are making a tremendous mistake that is dooming not only pit bulls, but other animals as well.

    Before you nod along to what Best Friends and other pit bull advocacy groups say, please keep an open mind and read the following:

    More adoptions will not end shelter killing of pit bulls

    Pit bulls & political recklessness

  9. And as for the comment about children being “bitten” being brats, that is horrifyingly insensitive and won’t win many folks to the pit bulls’ side. These are not “bites,” these are killings. Read what happened to the toddler Daxton Borchardt this year and try to blame this child.

    It’s not the kid’s fault, the babysitter’s or parents’ fault or even the dogs’ fault. It IS our fault for continuing to bring these dogs into this world, when we should be working to reduce their numbers humanely through spay/neuter, rather than focusing on “selling” them as the perfect pets for everybody.

  10. As a pit bull owner, it makes me cringe to see the term “bully breed” coined and sticking to these wonderful animals. My dog is not only more gentle than my other dog ( a black labrador) but she is also the best with my 15 month old little brother. The true power of these animals should not be ignored, but respected. An owner not willing to properly provide exercise and attention for these animals will end up with a stir-crazy and unpredictable dog — no matter the breed — it just becomes more frightening when you know the power behind that is from a Pit Bull. As time goes on I hope that the proper education is provided and the proper law enforcement is put on those who deserve it.

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