The Problem with Breed Specific Legislation Essay

1611 Words Feb 14th, 2006 7 Pages
The Problem With Breed Specific Legislation

The time has arrived, many say, for restricting the presence of- and even

eliminating- certain breeds of dogs. There have been many documented instances of

vicious dog attacks in cities across America . As a result, around the

country many communities are enacting laws based on the misguided belief that a dog's

breed is responsible for its behavior. These laws are commonly referred to as breed bans,

or breed-specific legislation. Breed specific legislation is any law that prohibits the breed,

or kind, of dog that someone is allowed by law to own. There are many

practical alternatives to these laws that would provide adequate protection to the general

public,
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Dog wardens have the authority to identify dogs as pit bulls. Therefore if a

dog warden says it's a pit bull, it's a pit bull unless the owner has strong evidence to the

contrary.

A man is out for a stroll in his community with his Bull Terrier. He is stopped by

the local animal control officer and told that "pit bulls" are restricted from his

community. The man cannot prove that his dog is not a pit bull-type dog and that it is a

well-trained, household pet. The dog is confiscated and euthanized. Although

only one state currently has a statewide breed restriction (Ohio), hundreds of

communities within the United States are actively pursuing breed bans and breed-

restrictive legislation. Many communities in the United States feel that this is

the last resort in controlling the over-abundant population of dogs that are bred because

they are considered a "vicious" breed.

Breed specific legislation is not a practical approach to regulation of dogs. Much of the time, it is only upheld when the law specifically names breeds of dogs and the standards that are set by recognized breed clubs. Proving that a dog falls within specified breed standards usually requires the use of expert testimony by knowledgeable breeders and veterinarians.
So how does one deal with biting dogs? To start with, dog owners must realize that biting is a natural activity

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