Breed-Specific Legislation

Topics: Breed-specific legislation, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier Pages: 3 (1132 words) Published: February 24, 2013

Assignment 3: Persuasive Paper Part 1: A Problem Exist
Thomas R. Felix
Strayer University
English 215
Professor Duncan Warner
Feb 13, 2013


There have been many documented instances of vicious dog attacks in cities across America. As a result, around the country many communities are enacting laws based on the misguided belief that a dog's breed is responsible for its behavior.  Breed Specific Laws (BSL) target all dogs of specific breeds or even breed types and in spite of banning anything that looks like a named breed, after years of banning, fatalities and serious injuries by dog continue to increase or at least stay about the same, proving that getting rid of a breed has not ended the very rare incidence of death by dog. There are many great resources on the web about BSL and the fact that the Netherlands, where breed bans were enacted about 25 plus years ago, learned that it was not the breed of dog that accounted for severe bites, death by dog because bite statistics stayed up when certain breeds were effectively banned there. It solved nothing! So they did the rational thing and penalized individual cases rather than by breed of dog (Gosling, 2003). I think enacting BSL has done more harm than good by putting and economic hardship on the community in which they are banned. BSL is enforced by animal control agencies on tight budgets, expanding their duties without necessarily expanding their budget. Additionally, many rural areas do not have funding to establish and effectively run an animal control division. Costs can include additional animal control staff to enforce the law, the kenneling of dogs awaiting breed determination and/or appeal, court time and costs, expert testimony and veterinary care. As an example, one county in Maryland spent more than $560,000 maintaining pit bulls (not including payroll, cross-agency costs and utilities),...
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