Breed-specific legislation not only fails to improve public safety, but it is also costly to enforce and violates dog parents’ rights. The best public safety laws focus on the behavior of individual dogs and their owners. Not on the appearance of the dog.

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)

Position on BSL

Pit Bull Synergy opposes any type of breed-specific legislation (breed discrimination). We do support breed-neutral legislation that holds dog owners accountable for their dogs’ behavior.

Dog with Muzzle - Gjirokastra - Albania (28539288958)
Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

What is Breed Specific Legislation?

Laws that prohibit or restrict certain breeds of dogs based solely on their appearance because they are thought to be dangerous breeds.

Breed-specific legislation, also known as breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL), refers to laws that ban or restrict certain types of dogs based. Simply on their appearance and perception as dangerous breeds. Breed-specific legislation focuses on dogs with a certain appearance or physical characteristics, instead of an actual breed. “Pit Bulls” are the most frequent targets of breed-specific legislation. However, it is extremely difficult to determine a dog’s breed or breed mix simply by looking at it. It does not take into account how the owner has raised, trained, or managed the dog or the dog’s actual behaviors..

According to the CDC

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 4.5 million people in the United States bitten by dogs each year. And more than 800,000 receive medical attention for dog bites, with at least half of them being children. It is no exaggeration to say that dog bites pose a significant health risk to our communities and society.

Why it Doesn’t Work and What is Wrong with Breed Specific Legislation

  1. Laws are expensive and difficult to enforce especially when determining a dog’s breed can be difficult.
  2. Discriminatory against responsible owners and their dogs.

Generalizing Breed

Innocent dogs and owners suffer as a result of generalizing the behaviors of dogs that look a certain way. Responsible owners of completely friendly, properly supervised, and well-socialized dogs who happen to fall within the regulated breed face difficulties as a result of BSL. Despite the fact that these dog owners have done nothing to endanger the public. They must follow local breed bans and regulations. Unless they can mount successful (and often costly) legal challenges. BSL can result in the euthanasia of innocent dogs. Those who fit a certain “look,” as well as the forced relocation or surrender of dogs who have never bitten or threatened to bite..

Breed Specific Legislation requires every dog to be identified as a breed.

Every dog must must have a breed identification. It has proven impossible to make such a determination simply by looking at mixed breed dogs.

Breed bans do not address the social issue of irresponsible pet ownership.

Breed restrictions do not address the societal problem of irresponsible pet ownership. Unsocialized, unneutered dogs and those left unsupervised are more likely to become aggressive. Cities and states will spend money trying to enforce ineffective bans and restrictions. Rather than implementing proven solutions by enacting breed-specific legislation. Such as licensing and leash laws. As well as proactive responses to dog owners who pose a risk to the community.

They may actually encourage ownership by irresponsible people.

If you outlaw a breed, then it attracts outlaws to that breed. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of the “outlaw” status of their breed of choice to bolster their own self-image as living outside of the rules. The rise of pit bull ownership among gang members and others in the late 1980s coincided with the first round of BSL.

BSL does not stop dog bites or improve public safety.

It has no effect on reducing dog bites or improving public safety. The American Veterinary Medical Association conducted an extensive review in order to analyze existing studies on dog bites and serious injuries. According to their findings, no single breed stands out as especially dangerous. Breed is not a reliable predictor of dangerous behavior in dogs.

Better and more reliable indicators include owner behavior, training, sex of the dog, and neuter status. a dog’s location (urban vs. rural), and even varying ownership trends over the passage of time or geographic location.

They note, for example, that pit bull-type dogs are frequently reported in severe and fatal attacks. However, the reason is likely not related to the breed. Instead, it is likely because they are kept in certain high-risk neighborhoods. More likely owned by individuals who may use them for dog fights or have involvement in criminal or violent acts.

breed specific legislation

When it comes to protecting a community from dangerous dogs, animal control rules and legislation should base laws on encouraging responsible pet ownership. Along with developing methods for quickly identifying and responding to owners whose dogs pose a serious risk. Not based solely on breed.

Breed-specific legislation not only fails to improve public safety, but it is also expensive to implement and infringes on the rights of dog owners. The best public safety laws prioritize the behavior of individual dogs and their owners over the appearance of a dog.

Creating and Enforcing Dangerous Dog Laws

Breed-Specific Bans are Being Repealed in More Numbers than Ever Before.

  1. Non-breed-specific harmful dog legislation, with a focus on owners who are habitually negligent.
  2. Licensing and leash laws are examples of animal control ordinances.
  3. Prohibiting dog fighting.
  4. Encouraging spay and neuter and made easier.
  5. Anti-tethering legislation.

The good news is that the general public is speaking out against breed-specific bans. Particularly those involving pit bulls. More than ever before, forcing legislators to pay attention.

Even if political authorities are fiercely opposed to lifting a restriction, the general population can band together and make their feelings known.