Breed Specific Legislation Persuasive Speech Outline

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  • Topic: Breed-specific legislation, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pit Bull
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  • Published : April 22, 2012
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Troy Gladney
Persuasive Speech Outline
Comm 110
I. Introduction

A. Attention getter: A lot of times Breed Specific laws ban pit bulls and even require that a pit bull be put down. In this game, you are giving a death sentence to one dog. Will you choose the right one? [Can you find the pit bull on line game]

B. Relation to audience: By a show of hands, how many of you have a pet you consider to be part of your family? Think about how you would feel if a law banned the breed of your pet and you had two choices: 1. Hand your pet over to animal control or 2. Move somewhere else.

C. Credibility: As you all know, I am the proud owner of an American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT). [Show pictures of my pit bull Ocean and me] Does he look like a vicious animal that deserves to be banned or destroyed?

D. Thesis: Breed Specific Legislation or BSL needs to be stopped altogether and more reasonable alternatives need to be implemented.

E. Preview of main points:
1. Overview of BSL
2. Arguments for BSL
3. My arguments for alternatives to BSL

Transition: So, what is BSL exactly?

II. Body

A. Definition of BSL
1. According to the StopBSL website, breed-specific legislation (BSL) bans OR restricts certain types of dogs based on their appearance because they are perceived as “dangerous” breeds or types of dogs. (StopBSL website, accessed April 1, 2012, What is BSL?, J. Thomas.)

2. It is a common misconception that BSL refers only to breed bans. BSL is seen in two forms: bans and restrictions.

a. A breed ban usually requires that all dogs of a certain appearance (“targeted breed”) be removed from the municipality wherein the ban has been implemented.

i. After the effective date of the ban, dogs in the municipality that are identified as targeted breeds are usually subject to being killed by animal control, though in some cases, such dogs may be saved if relocation is an option.

ii. Breed bans may have grandfather clauses that allow dogs of targeted breeds to stay in the ban area (provided they are registered with the municipality by a certain date, and likely subject to various breed-specific restrictions).

b. Breed-specific restrictions may require an owner of a targeted breed do any of the following or more, depending on how the law is written:

i. Muzzle the dog in public
ii. Spay or neuter the dog
iii. Contain the dog in a kennel with specific requirements (6′ chain link walls, lid, concrete floors, etc.) iv. Keep the dog on a leash of specific length or material v. Purchase liability insurance of a certain amount

vi. Place “vicious dog” signs on the outside of the residence where the dog lives vii. Make the dog wear a “vicious dog” tag or other identifying marker

Transition: Why do people want BSL?

B. The arguments for BSL
1. According to Stephen Collier in his article “Breed Specific legislation and the pit bull terrier: Are the laws justified?”, BSL comes from the need to protect the public from dangerous dog breeds because (1) the breed has a record of biting showing a high level of aggression toward people; and (2) that the breed has a potential to be dangerous because of its physical characteristics and its functional history. (Stephen Collier, “Breed Specific legislation and the pit bull terrier: Are the laws justified?”, 2006, Journal of Veterinary Behavior)

2. Why these argument are wrong.
a. “Pit Bulls attack more than other breeds.” Not true! Bite record data and breed identification is often inaccurate.

i. The data are almost never collected in a way that would allow accurate calculation of population attributable fraction percentage or PAF% which is a measure of the breed’s impact on the overall population (Collier).

ii. The America Veterinary Medical Association states that data does not factor in population vs. bites in the article “A community approach to dog bite...
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