Following a series of dog bites and killing of victims, Breed Specific Legislation was enacted to curb the menace. Specifically, some dogs were reported to be perpetrators of aggression and carnage; these canines were included in the list. However, there are public outcries for animal-friendly laws on the ground that any dog can bite.
Why breed-specific legislation is not the answer
In many countries, including the US, local authorities make public safety laws to ban, restrict, or control particular breed of animals. If breed-specific legislation is not the solution to animal aggression to humans, what could be the answer? Stakeholders suggest the need for a socially-oriented solution that will give good animals a chance to live.
Why is the concern about BSL?
Keeping animals as pets is an emotional issue. Dogs earned the title – the best friends of man because of the excellent help they render. The only relations some people have are their pets. If their loved animal is taken away by breed-specific legislation, it could be overwhelming for the owner. The local authorities should make it easy for people to obey the law, even if such an act is for the good of society.
The argument is that any animal can become aggressive if there is communication breakdown with humans. Therefore, a blanket ban on some breed and leaving others to roam the street lacks emotional consideration for people who depend on the banned breed.
If BSL is reviewed and more open-minded about animals in general, it would help curb animal fatalities.
What is the best answer to animal attacks?
Animals are not humans; people should stop crossing the line of treating them like they are humans. The best solutions to preventing dog bites are listed below.
Socialization is why humans have become friendlier in today’s society. In the past, some communities are inaccessible because of the hostile stance of the people. We can do the same with animals and use existing animal shelters and fostering system to socialize animals before adoption.
Dogs bite people because we cannot understand them. Have you noticed other animals don’t go into the territory of another animal? They don’t because there is a sign left by the resident animal warning others to keep off. We don’t see or know such a warning, and that is why everyone needs pet education.
Animals have their way of communication. It is a proper development that animal behavior specialists could help decipher what animals are saying to us. There are established modes of interaction with animals, and anyone wanting pet should first learn animal interaction.
In homes, it is crucial to educate your family about animal behavior. It is wrong to make a dog your baby-sitter. You don’t know when your child will cross the line and become prey to your wild pet.
It is essential to remind everyone that you cannot wholly take away the animal, survival instinct of your dog. It is with the use of knowledge that we can keep it latent!
Here are scenarios you can cross the line with petting
- If the dog is alone
- The owner didn’t give permission to pet the dog
- Petting the dog over a fence
- Disturbing a sleeping dog
- Attempting to take away a dog food
- Disturbing and injured or sick dog
- Going near a dog resting with her puppies
- Forcefully taking a dog toy while playing
- Leaving your open wound before a specific breed of dogs
- Going near a growling or barking dog when you are not the owner
- Disturbing a dog that is hiding or seeking time alone
Instead of BSL, responsible pet ownership should be enforced! A mandatory pet education certificate and pet socialization should be a minimum requirement to own a pet. While every pet owner should, by law, leash their pets when in public.
There is a need to warn visitors that you keep animals as a pet and keep your pet away when strangers are around. Most times, animal aggression happens because of people crossing the line. Also, every pet should receive training and neutering.
Breed-specific legislation needs to be replaced with a more pet-friendly law. Animals are part of the society BSL should seek their safety. While it is within government responsibility to ensure the security of lives, it should include property as well. If anyone chooses to pet an animal, the law should be there for him, not against him.