Why you need to oppose Breed-Specific Legislation

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is in the news once again due to the deplorable euthanization of Lennox, a supposedly “dangerous” pitbull mix in Northern  Ireland. But Northern Ireland is not the only place that allows the extermination of unwanted breeds of dogs. In fact, 11 US States have breed-specific legislation on the books. This year alone, Miami has euthanized 83 “suspected” pit bulls because of their breed. Supporters of BSL say that pit bulls (and occasionally a few other breeds) are dramatically more aggressive and harmful to humans than other types of breeds. Supporters then feel that it is in the best interest of the public to ban all “dangerous” dogs.

Breed Specific Legislation Bans Pit bulls, like this puppy

Looks like a killer, right?

While this may at first sound logical, it is a dangerous move based on shoddy studies and “facts.” Setting aside the actual dog bite statistics (which do not single out only pit bulls), there is another huge problem this law creates. By validating the ability of a government to decide the type of dog that is and isn’t “legal,” we are potentially opening a door for even crazier and less “logical” laws against dogs. Legal precedence is defined as “an act or instance that may be used as an example in dealing with subsequent similar instances,” and legal precedent has been made by having these laws on the books.

Imagine a child running, screaming through a field. A young whippet sees the child’s head streaking through the grass and instinct takes over. The dog bolts, and grabs the child’s arm. The kid falls, his head smashes against a rock, and his neck breaks. The whippet whines and cries, licking the teeth holes he has inflicted upon the youngster, but it is too late. The parents are heartbroken, and their testimony leads to that dog’s demise. As if that weren’t awful enough, a young upstart politician hears the story and turns it into headline news: “Sighthounds’ instincts a danger to all children!” He wins his campaign in a landslide, with parents terrified of their children being killed. Suddenly, in accord with legal precedent, it is illegal to own any dog bred to bring down game.Dogo Argentino, an often banned breed

Dogs (and their owners) need to be held responsible for acts they have committed, but the whole breed should not be punished for the acts of a few.

Please contact your local governments, and let your Representative know that this matters! The AKC has some wonderful resources on BSL, including sample “Letters to the Editor” and “Letters to Lawmakers


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About BredByBitch

Hello! My name is Dani, and I've been in the "dog world" since I was 8 years old. My mother raises and breeds Irish Wolfhounds, which was my introduction to the show ring. I showed in Junior Showmanship for many years before aging out and getting my first German Wirehaired Pointer. I live in Tucson, AZ with my German Wirehaired Pointer, Luke. Luke is my man, from my first home-bred litter of wires.

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