BSL IS BS

Breed speci­fic
leg­is­la­tion (BSL) is being passed in many dif­fer­ent states,
coun­ties,
towns and coun­tries, and is a detri­ment to the sur­vival of the Pit
Bull. All own­ers should con­cern them­selves with the mat­ter of
BSL.

What is
BSL?

BSL is
leg­is­la­tion that tar­gets speci­fic breeds of dog (namely Pit Bulls and
“amer­i­can bul­lies”) because they are sup­pos­edly inher­ently dan­ger­ous and
there­fore deserv­ing of prej­u­di­cial rules and reg­u­la­tions. BSL can be
loosely
divided into two types:

Type 1–Bans

Bans make it ille­gal to own, house,
har­bor, import, train, or breed any of
the dogs listed in the
leg­is­la­tion in a par­tic­u­lar loca­tion. Dogs that already
exist in the
area of the ban are usu­ally grand­fa­thered in, but their own­ers
have to
com­ply with exten­sive laws in order to keep their ani­mals. These
laws
usu­ally require own­ers to take out expen­sive lia­bil­ity insur­ance on
their dogs, muz­zle the dogs in pub­lic, keep the ani­mals con­fined in
ken­nels, manda­tory spay/neuter, among other things.

Type 2–Ownership
reg­u­la­tion

Reg­u­la­tion leg­is­la­tion doesn’t
out­right ban a breed, but rather makes it
extremely dif­fi­cult to own a
cer­tain breed. Require­ments such as lia­bil­ity
insur­ance, manda­tory
spay/neuter, higher licens­ing costs, muz­zling in
pub­lic, etc. are
typ­i­cal of leg­is­la­tion like this. Own­er­ship reg­u­la­tion also
places age
lim­its on who can own or han­dle cer­tain breeds. Through this
type of
leg­is­la­tion, the gov­ern­ment is basi­cally decid­ing who is and who is
not
allowed to own cer­tain dogs.

What’s the point of
BSL?

The
sup­por­t­ors of BSL claim their goal is to put an end to dog attacks by
tar­get­ing cer­tain breeds of dog that are “inher­ently vicious/dangerous”,

and dogs that tend to appeal to peo­ple who are involved in crim­i­nal
activ­ity (i.e. drug deal­ers, dog fight­ers, gang­bangers,
etc).

What
About Bite Sta­tis­tics? Do They Prove We Need BSL?:

Dog Bite Sta­tis­tics are unre­li­able
sources of infor­ma­tion regard­ing the
“vicious­ness” or dan­ger­ous­ness of
breeds for the fol­low­ing rea­sons:

1) Very few peo­ple can accu­rately
iden­tify dog breeds.

2) Breeds are not listed indi­vid­u­ally, but rather
under group head­ings. For
instance, under the head­ing “pit bull”, you
will find no less than 3 dis­tinct
breeds, mixes of any of those three
breeds, any dog that appears to be
one of those breeds, plus any
misiden­ti­fied dogs. And make no mis­take,
dogs get misiden­ti­fied all the
time. There is a case of an Akita attack that
was reported as a “pit
bull attack” in the media. This author’s dogs have
been mis­taken for
Box­ers, Bull­dogs, and yes, one was even mis­taken for
an Akita. Just
about any Bully owner can tell you of many cases where
their dog has
dealt with a case of mis­taken iden­tity.

3) Bite stats take into account
only reported bites.

4) Bite stats do not take into account the dogs of a
spec­i­fied breed who
do NOT bite. No one knows the over­all per­cent­age of
Amer­i­can Bul­lies  who bite
com­pared to, let’s say, the per­cent­age of Dal­ma­tians
or Golden Retriev­ers
who bite.

5) Bite stats do not list
“pro­voked” bites that occur at groom­ing shops and
vet­eri­nary offices.
If you took a sur­vey of groomers and vet­eri­nar­i­ans, I’m
sure you’d find
an over­whelm­ing major­ity of them would tell you that the
small,
“cutesy” dogs that peo­ple gen­er­ally hold as harm­less are the dogs
that
give them the most trou­ble. This author is an ex-groomer and can
attest
to the fact that the big dogs, par­tic­u­larly Pit Bulls and bul­lies , and other
sim­i­lar breeds, are by far the most coop­er­a­tive.

6) Bite stats DO
list the truly pro­voked bites, i.e. dogs who have bit­ten
after being
teased/harrassed/abused.

BSL Is Not The
Answer:

While
it is quite obvi­ous that there is a prob­lem in some com­mu­ni­ties
regard­ing loose dogs harrassing/attacking peo­ple, crim­i­nal activ­ity
involv­ing the use of dogs, and dog attacks in gen­eral, BSL fails to reduce

the occur­ance of these prob­lems because it fails to address the root

cause: peo­ple. BSL doesn’t work because it is purely pred­ju­di­cial in

nature. Instead of pun­ish­ing own­ers who are irre­spon­si­ble and crim­i­nals

who use dogs for ille­gal pur­poses, the leg­is­la­tion tar­gets dogs for
sim­ply
exist­ing, and people’s rights to own the breed of dog they so
choose.

BSL is also largely based on mis­in­for­ma­tion and truth-twist­ing,
its authors
cit­ing the “inher­ent vicious­ness” of cer­tain dog breeds as
plenty rea­son to
out­law even those dogs that have never acted in a
crim­i­nal fash­ion. Bite
sta­tis­tics are also used as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion since
“pit bulls” often top such lists.
Of course, no breed is inher­ently
vicious, and the accu­racy of bite stats are
sus­pect as best.

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