An Argument Against Breed-Specific Legislation Essay

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The term “breed-specific legislation” is not one that comes up often in day-to-day discussion for most people. Breed-specific legislation refers to all laws that seek to restrict or eliminate ownership of certain animal breeds, most often dog breeds. 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. Breed-specific legislation is distinct from animal control laws that restrict ownership of wild or demonstrably dangerous (those with a past history of unacceptable, aggressive behavior) animals, because breed-specific legislation makes a blanket restriction on all animals of a certain …show more content…
This means that even dogs with no specific heritage (“mutts” or mixed breed dogs), if they exhibit these conformations, could be subject to breed-specific legislation based on the definition of what is considered “substantial.” Some pit bull owners directly affected by breed-specific legislation have had to give up lifelong companions in order to protect themselves from legal action. This should be worrisome for all pet owners, and especially owners of the larger domestic animals like dogs; once it is decided that the ability to own a domestic animal can be curtailed based on evidence that can be misinterpreted and misrepresented, the “watch-dogs” of public safety could as easily turn their gaze upon the next breed to be singled out for legislation. But do these laws actually live up to their goal in the long-term? Eliminating a breed of animal will certainly reduce cruelty associated with it; there are very few reported cases of cruelty toward or injuries due to the Braque du Puy today. Of course, Braque du Puys, as such, are an extinct breed. But animal cruelty and related crime persists, even in the absence of more than a dozen breeds which have become extinct. This basic dilemma is why pit bull type restrictive legislation is ultimately futile, and why it should not be pursued as a serious method of ensuring public safety, because pit bulls themselves are not the cause of crime or animal abuse, nor will

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