We are big supporters of the ongoing movement to educate ignorance and help end Breed Specific Legislation, commonly referred to as BSL. This breed-specific legislation ranges from full bans on the possession of specific breeds, to restrictions on ownership including a special set of conditions for owning that specific breed. In January 2013 we wrote about a national petition under review by the White House and we are incredibly happy to report that the White House has stated that they believe “breed-specific legislation is a bad idea.”
In their official email they go on to detail the following:
“We don’t support breed-specific legislation—research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.
In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at twenty years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it's virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds.
The CDC also noted that the types of people who look to exploit dogs aren't deterred by breed regulations -- when their communities establish a ban, these people just seek out new, unregulated breeds. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they're intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.
For all those reasons, the CDC officially recommends against breed-specific legislation -- which they call inappropriate. As an alternative to breed-specific policies, the CDC recommends a community-based approach to prevent dog bites. And ultimately, we think that's a much more promising way to build stronger communities of pets and pet owners.”
This national stand against BSL is a big step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go. Some state-level governments in the United States have prohibited or restricted the ability of their local governments within those states to enact breed-specific legislation. Still, jurisdictions in the United States and Canada have the right to enact breed-specific legislation; despite the fact that the actual effectiveness of BSL in preventing dog bite fatalities and injuries is highly disputed.
What can be done?
-Become informed to help educate others on the actual facts surrounding BSL.
-Rock a End BSL charm to proudly take a stand to end prejudice.