If passed, SB32 will overturn existing Oklahoma law which currently prohibits breed discrimination. SB32 will allow cities to restrict ownership of any breed of dog by citizens within municipal limits. This will create breed-specific legislation (BSL) in Oklahoma.
I am proud of Oklahoma as our current law prohibits regulating dogs based on breed. This is a good law and it puts the onus on dog owners to be responsible, which is where it should be. SB32 will change that, opening the door to breed restrictions, punishing good and responsible dog owners while irresponsible owners will continue being irresponsible.
While I understand SB32 isn't specifically worded to ban any one breed, it opens the door to breed specific discrimination (BSL), targeting breeds deemed "dangerous." One of the primary goals of the legislature should be to achieve safe communities, but the simple truth is breed discrimination doesn’t improve public safety. It fails to target the real issue, which is irresponsible dog owners whom create dangerous dogs through lack of training, socialization, abuse and cruelty.
According to studies done in countries (the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany) with breed-discriminatory laws, such legislation didn’t reduce the number of dog bites. BSL doesn't work. Because of this, the Humane Society of the United States, American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Bar Association oppose breed discrimination and instead support comprehensive, breed-neutral dangerous-dog laws. We believe breed-neutral laws are the only effective laws. SB32 will not be an effective law because it opens the door to breed-specific laws.
Please oppose SB 32 because it fails to enhance public safety, is a waste of tax dollars and is an infringement on our property rights.
Thank you for your consideration, and I hope you will oppose SB 32.