Gold Coast, Australia learns of difficulties of enforcing BSL

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In 2003, a Gold Coast, Australia woman was attacked by a ‘pit bull’. The victim appeared before the city council and demanded the city do something to ban ‘pit bulls’.

Like too many cities, the hysteria of the moment was to much to overlook, and they began one of the strictest enforcements of Queensland’s state-wide ban on four breeds of dogs: Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa and American Pit Bull Terrier.

Years later,the Gold Coast City Council has discovered to its great cost, banning pit bulls is not as easy as it might seem.

The city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars (likely in the millions)  on court cases pertaining to accurate breed identification — having lost at least 57 such cases in the past few years.  One such case involved a dog named Rusty that was impounded and sentenced to death by three council experts — one of whom was Deborah Pomeroy, a Brisbane City Animal Control supervisor who helped devise the 22 point identification system used across Queensland.  During the trial, Pomeroy admitted that she was selft trained, hand no veterinarian qualifications and could claim no scientific basis for the identificiation system she’d helped create.

The case caused a tidal wave of lost breed identification cases, all at substantial costs to the cities and the state of Queensland.

As more and more places rack up experience with BSL, and find that it is way more difficult and costly to enforce than they had thought, it is leading more places to seek breed neutral policies that focus only on the behavior of the dog — not on some arbitrary “look” that should be outlawed.

Breed specific legislation has proven to be difficult and expensive to enforce — and ineffective at dealing with the problem of dangerous dogs around the world — including Australia, Canada, Puerto Rico, the UK, Germanyand in the U.S.

It is a failed idea, based on a failed premise that is not scientifically sound. It is time to move on.

Hat tip: Stop BSL


more to come…..


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