From heartbreaking stories of dog aggressions on children to the outright killing of adult victims, the society needs a reprieve! It was necessary to curb the menace of dogs in the community. In the wisdom of government, breed-specific legislation was the answer; is it?
Why was breed-specific legislation created?
Governments have turned to breed-specific legislation as a way to protect society from further carnages. However, unfolding events after BSL shows a far-reaching action is needed!
Breed-Specific Legislation: A Desperate Solution to a Desperate Problem
There was a dilemma on what to do to protect society from animal attacks, especially dogs. At that time, the only plausible action was to tag some dogs as the victim and slam them with BSL. The law seeks to ban or restrict a particular breed of dogs.
In some communities, the law gave conditions and make allowances; in other cities, it was an outright ban. Dogs of specific characteristics are included in what many have termed animal racial profiling. As a result of BSL, different groups are rising to ask for a review. Thus, in some counties, the law was suspended and, in some, reviewed!
No study demonstrate any breed of dog is more aggressive than the other
It seems BSL is made out of the government’s need to answer public cries without knowing what to do. The law displayed government stereotypes for some breed of dogs and decided to hammer them with BSL.
Is Breed-Specific Legislation Effective across our communities?
According to their nature, all dogs have wolfish instincts and can attack when people cross the line. Therefore, the breed exempted can also be aggressive and bite if provoked. Available records show that despite the legislation, there are still cases of dog bites from the exempted breed.
Breed-Specific Legislation is a blanket term to either regulate or ban certain breeds of dogs hoping to reduce dog attacks. As it turns out, BSL is a quick fix response from the government without solving the real problem.
Postmortem analysis of dog bites by the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows there is the inaccuracy of data to justify BSL. Reactions from various organizations of note, including the American Bar Association, American Kennel Club, American Veterinary Medical Association, and American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, suggest a better approach than current BSL solutions.
The national canine research council thinks a multifactor approach is better than the blanket solution of BSL. So far, breed-specific legislation has proven to be a hurried approach that needs urgent review.
And lastly, the Obama Administration made a categorical statement indicating the administration don’t support breed-specific legislation given the overwhelming evidence that ban on specific dog breed is a waste of public resources.
Why Breed-Specific Legislation Doesn’t Work
Breed-specific legislation seeks to unfairly punish particular breeds while leaving a wider gap for assault on the public. Organizations, who should know better, have spoken in clear terms condemning the act. They call for a multifactor approach to ensure the protection of everyone, including dogs.
Dog ownership is not a game; it is a relationship between people and their pets. If the government is concerned about citizens’ wellbeing, they should know how much these pets mean to their owners.
Breed-specific legislation turns attention away from other dogs to cause harm to people. Instead of racial profiling of dogs, why not institute responsible pet ownership law that will regulate activities of all dogs?
Signals Breed-Specific Legislation is failing
Some communities in the US have put on hold their BSL laws; some have reviewed it to be more people-friendly. In Italy, the BSL was repealed on the ground of costly implementation. The Dutch government in June 2009 indicated its intention to remove pit bull from the list of a banned breed. The government came to a decision when it discovered an increase in dog bites despite the ban on the pit bull.
Although the enactment of BSL by local administration satisfies constitutional provision, it flatly fails peoples’ approval.
The rising voices against BSL aren’t about scrapping pet ownership law but to have more dog-friendly legislation. The government should consider the right side of dogs in society and enact laws to respect the feelings of the people.
As it stands, the purpose of breed-specific legislation is dead on arrival, and it needs to give way to a people-oriented law.