Since the Ryan Armstrong Act passed in 2003, Illinois has had one of the best dangerous dog/reckless owner laws in the nation. An important part of this law is that it prevents cities or counties from enacting any breed specific laws. Why? Canine profiling simply doesn't work to create safe humane communities.
Breed discriminatory laws target a dog's appearance, not the dogs behavior or that of its owner. Breed Specific laws are also incredibly expensive to enforce. According to Best Friends Breed Discriminatory Fiscal Impact Calculator, if the state enacted a breed discriminatory law it would cost over $17,000,000 a year to enforce.
Best Friends Animal Society opposes breed discrimination. All dogs are individuals. Please sign the petition to help stop this legislation and save the lives of dogs.
HB 1080 would repeal a key provision of the Ryan Armstrong Act that prevents canine profiling. Since Senator Don Harmon and Representative Skip Saviano spearheaded the drive to pass the Ryan Armstrong Act in 2003, breed discrimination has been illegal in the Land of Lincoln. Indeed, Illinois has one of the strongest dangerous dog/reckless owner laws in the nation. The problem is many police departments and animal control agencies fail to enforce the existing good generic potentially dangerous/dangerous/vicious dog laws contained in the Illinois Animal Control Act.
Breed is not a factor in bites. Studies from the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany show that breed discriminatory laws simply don't work. In many of the study areas bites actually increased after a breed specific law was passed because the focus becomes a dog's appearance not its behavior.
In addition to being ineffective, breed discriminatory laws are incredibly expensive to enforce. According to economist John Dunham and Associates, if Illinois were to enact a breed discriminatory law it would cost taxpayers $17,868,850 annually -- a waste of tax dollars. Even the Platte Institute for Economic Research called breed specific laws a waste of tax dollars.
This is America. Every responsible citizen should have the right to care for whatever breed of dog they choose. Reckless owners should be prevented from having any pets.
Please oppose HB 1080 and any bill that would allow canine profiling in the Land of Lincoln. Thank you for your consideration in this important matter.
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