There is a member of the House of Representatives that was ready to propose naming "Pit Bulls" Dangerous Dogs in the state of Georgia. Some of the requirements for this type of law - Breed Specific Legislation - could include registrations for our dogs, expensive personal injury insurance, pricey fencing, and could end up with the requirement for our dogs to wear mandatory muzzles when out in public, and even mandatory sterilization, as some laws require.
All of this is Breed Specific Legislation. We advocates are vehemently opposed to any type of breed specific legislation, and urge you to sign the petition to send a message to our policy makers that we are voters and responsible caretakers, and that we are opposed to BSL. BSL does not target the core issue, but rather, impacts responsible owners such as ourselves.
- Georgia Governor
I am opposed to any type of legislation that names a breed of dog. Breed specific legislation does not minimize dog bites; it does nothing to isolate the issues associated with over-breeding; it does not provide choices for much needed low cost spay/neuter services for ALL dogs; or cut down on the numbers of dogs being put down in our shelters. In fact, when responsible dog owners cannot afford the requirements associated with BSL, they often either let their dogs loose to become strays, or surrender them at their local animal control shelter, further adding to the numbers of dogs being put down daily.
BSL is expensive and includes the costs for enforcement, kennels, care and vetting for dogs while in captivity, and ultimately euthanasia and litigation, in some cases.
BSL is impossible to enforce as it requires Animal Control staff and local enforcement officers to identify dogs based on physical characteristics, and not DNA. There have been many reference tools put out by various, expert and unbiased canine research groups that prove that even experts cannot correctly identify the breed of a dog from sight alone. One example is National Canine Research Council's reference. The link is posted here for your convenience. http://www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/uploaded_files/tinymce/Pit%20Bull%20ID%20Poster.pdf
"I am beginning to believe that breed specific legislation targets nothing more than a small subset of morphological characteristics of dogs and does not address behavior at all.”
Kristopher Irizarry, PhD
Assistant Professor, Bioinformatics, Genetics, Genomics, Western University.
Advisor to NCRC
AVMA, the CDC, the National Animal Control Association, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and practically all animal welfare organizations are opposed to BSL.
At the core of every public safety issue involving dogs is the need for responsible pet ownership. We, the community, urge the law makers to hold dog owners responsible for humane treatment of dogs, and exercise safety measures within the community, regardless of type of breed. Dog bite "statistics" are not statistics, and do not give an accurate representation of dogs that bite. Dog bites occur in the most uncontrolled settings and the focus on breed only concentrates on the breed, and does not include the relationship with the human. This type of focus hinders further development of public safety policies, and damages the relationship with the responsible owners and their dogs that do not bite.
Please do not pass legislation that names the breed of dogs, but rather put forth effort to focus on measures to understand the need for a safe community, enforcing current laws in existence, and developing programs to strengthen the relationship between canine and community.
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