This has been a major source of controversy. A common criticism of breed-specific legislation is that trying to determine a dog’s breed based on appearance is inherently problematic and that the category of “pit bull” is itself arbitrary and overly broad. Andrea Roach, one of the founders of Citizens Against Breed Specific Legislation, said, "Thank you to the people of Springfield and all the volunteers and donors who helped save dogs' lives today. Finally, this part introduces the two most common types of laws regulating ownership of dangerous dogs---dangerous-dog laws and breed-specific legislation-and explores the constitutional challenges confronting each. Breed specific legislation essentially bans, restricts or imposes conditions on the ownership of certain breeds of dogs, typically those breeds that presumably pose the greatest risk of dog bite injury. According to the ASPCA, "Breed-specific” legislation (BSL) is the blanket term for laws that either regulate or ban certain breeds completely in the hopes of reducing dog attacks. Larkin said volunteers with Citizens Against Breed Specific Legislation helped many people register to vote during their public outreach and awareness events. The wolfdog has been the center of controversy for much of its history, and most breed-specific legislation is either the result of the animal's perceived danger or its categorization as protected native wildlife. What this study adds. ", All Springfield dogs would have to be licensed with the city, proposal says, Your California Privacy Rights/Privacy Policy. Our position on breed specific legislation is not unique. A cursory look at history shows that the pervasive trend in anti-dog legislation is no longer a problem peculiar to just the large cities. The Problem With Breed Specific Legislation The time has arrived, many say, for restricting the presence of- and even eliminating- certain breeds of dogs. A. Some are those who have suffered the terrifying experience of a dog attack while others are dealing with the hurtful discrimination of their loving furry family members. In America, responsible people should be allowed to love and care for any breed of dog they choose. Well. Skip to main content. However, across the country, ownership of dogs that match these vague physical characteristics are being banned – regardless of their parentage. Few breeds inspire as much emotion as the pit bull. The Pit Bull Controversy. Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) affects everyone. Or can we finally put the responsibility for dangerous dogs where it really  belongs—on irresponsible owners regardless of breed. legislation in dog politics. Whether even an expert can adequately identify a mixed breed dog is itself subject to controversy. Specific Purpose Statement: To invite my audience to explore the advantages, disadvantages, and the alternatives associated with breed specific legislation. One City Council committee has discussed the possibility of requiring all dog owners to register, vaccinate and microchip their pets, regardless of breed. Does your dog have almond shaped eyes? The outright controversial legislation and BSL ban target Pit Bulls and many other breeds. of the controversies currently surrounding the topic of “breed” bans, also know as “pit bull bans” or “breed–specific legislation” (BSL). According to the Best Friends Animal Society, Prince George’s County, Maryland spends more than $250,000 annually to enforce their pit bull ban. Although there have been many studies on the effectiveness of BSL, there is no evidence to support the notion that some breeds of dogs are more inherently dangerous than others or that banning ownership of certain breeds lowers the bite rate. • Breed-specific legislation has been shown to be difficult to apply due to the problem of defining breeds and breed types. The study of approximately 50 purebred breeds concluded that the time an owner spends caring for and training a dog is inversely correlated to the level of aggressive behavior the dog exhibits. Council originally passed the ban in a 5-4 vote in October. They feel that dogs attack people who deserve it for one reason or another. The main reason BSL legislation is being overturned is because of new dog bite incident data and organizations challenging these laws. All rights reserved. It was first conceived as a method of controlling and reducing animal cruelty, as well as mitigating the occurrence of dog-related human injuries and the illegal activities of dog-fighting and related crimes. The exact nature of breed-specific legislation designed to ban or restrict certain types of dogs varies from one venue to another. None of those are in Virginia. The American Kennel Club takes exception to this generalization. The heated debate over Breed-specific Legislation (BSL) carries a lot of emotion for many people. Two days ago there was another helping of a Documentary called "Pedigree Dogs Exposed - Three Years On". Breed-specific legislation is not about dogs at all. Kathleen Larkin, a member of Citizens Against Breed Specific Legislation who helped organize efforts to defeat the ban, said she was not surprised by … “Breed-specific” legislation is the term for laws that regulate or ban certain breeds completely. • Breed-specific legislation engenders a false and dangerous perception that breeds not included will not show aggression. The ASPCA , The HSUS and the American Veterinary Medical Association all hold similar positions. However, the seemingly high numbers of pit bull attacks … Strongly enforced animal control laws (such as leash laws), generic guidelines on dealing with dangerous dogs of any breed, and increased public education efforts to promote responsible dog ownership are all better ways to protect communities from dangerous animals. This may involve anything from a specific dog breed needing to wear a muzzle in public or requiring certain breeds to be spayed or neutered. Dog and Breed-Specific Legislation During the year of 2001 Washington D.C. created the Pit Bull Public Protection Act. Regulated breeds typically comprise the “pit bull” class of dogs, including American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and English Bull Terriers. Breed specific regulation is very controversial and difficult to administer. A broad chest? For more information and talking points on this issue, visit the Breed-Specific Legislation Key Issues page in the AKC Government Relations Legislative Action Center. In some areas, regulated breeds also include a variety of other dogs like American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers or any mix of these breeds—and dogs who simply resemble these … In fact, AKC does not recognize the “pit bull” as a specific breed. 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