American Pit Bull Terrier
The national trend is moving steadily away from breed-specific legislation (BSL) and toward breed neutral laws that hold all owners equally accountable for the humane care, custody and control of their dogs. The list of states that are considering and passing legislation to preempt municipalities from passing BSL continues to grow.
BSL is a discriminatory law or ordinance that prohibits or restricts the keeping of dogs of specific breeds, dogs presumed to be specific breeds, mixes of specific breeds, and/or dogs presumed to be mixes of specific breeds.
The trend reflects a growing understanding that regulating dogs on the basis of breed or physical description does not reduce dog bites. Most importantly, studies continue to show that one kind of dog is no more likely to threaten or bite a human being than another.
The White House also opposes BSL and released a statement saying, “research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.”
No major national organizations endorse BSL, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control, the Humane Society of the United States, the National Animal Control Association, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The tide has turned against BSL and communities are implementing policies that hold all dog owners responsible for the humane care, custody, and control of their dogs, regardless of breed or appearance.
Building safer and more humane communities requires multi factorial approaches focusing on improved ownership and husbandry practices, better understanding of dog behavior, education of parents and children regarding safety around dogs, and consistent enforcement of dangerous dog/reckless owner ordinances in communities.