BSL is ineffective

Link to information ----------->   Why BSL will not work !


                                                                 Enforcement Issues

Enforcement of BSL naturally leads to the question: Who determines whether a dog is one of the banned or regulated breeds, and what is the procedure for that determination? Surprisingly, in places such as North Salt Lake, Utah, the city manager has sole authority to make that call. In other places it is the mayor or animal control officers. No special training in breed identification is required. Some jurisdictions have passed their BSL legislation without any input from a veterinarian, presumably the type of expert most capable of identifying dog breeds. Attorney Ledy VanKavage has spent the last decade studying BSL and is considered one of the country’s foremost experts on the subject. She is now general counsel for Best Friends Animal Society after working for years as the senior director of legislation and legal training for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). She calls BSL “breed discrimination laws” and asserts that with the advance of DNA analysis for dogs becoming more available, the days of mere “canine profiling” and arbitrary enforcement are numbered. VanKavage believes that because the government has the burden of proving that a dog is one of the breeds banned or regulated by BSL, cities will have to seriously weigh whether they should pony up the high cost of DNA tests or simply give up trying to enforce BSL.

Is BSL Effective?

Extensive studies of the effectiveness of BSL in reducing the number of persons harmed by dog attacks were done in Spain and Great Britain. Both studies concluded that their “dangerous animals acts,” which included pit bull bans, had no effect at all on stopping dog attacks. The Spanish study further found that the breeds most responsible for bites—both before and after the breed bans—were those breeds not covered by it, primarily German Shepherds and mixed breeds.
One of the few known instances in which a breed ban’s effectiveness was examined and reported on in the United States occurred in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where a task force was formed in 2003 to look at the effectiveness of its pit bull ban. The task force concluded that the public’s safety had not improved as a result of the ban, despite the fact that the county had spent more than $250,000 per year to round up and destroy banned dogs. Finding that other, non–breed–specific laws already on the books covered vicious animal, nuisance, leash, and other public health and safety concerns, the task force recommended repealing the ban.
In a different study looking at dog bite data, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Humane Society of the United States, and the American Veterinary Medical Association together produced a report titled “Breeds of Dogs Involved in Fatal Human Attacks in the US between 1979 and 1998,” which appeared in the September 15, 2000, issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Among its findings, the study reported that during this 20–year period, more than 25 breeds of dogs were involved in 238 human fatalities. Pit bull–type dogs caused 66 of the fatalities, which averages out to just over three fatal attacks per year, and Rottweilers were cited as causing 39 of the fatalities. The rest were caused by other purebreds and mixed breeds. At the time the report was released, Dr. Gail C. Golab, one of the study’s co–authors, was quoted as saying, “[s]ince 1975, dogs belonging to more than 30 breeds—including Dachshunds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and a Yorkshire Terrier—have been responsible for fatal attacks on people.”
The authors noted that the data in the report cannot be used to infer any breed–specific risk for dog bite fatalities, such as for pit bull–type dogs or Rottweilers, because to obtain such risk information it would be necessary to know the total numbers of each breed currently residing in the United States,and that information is unavailable

  Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the American Kennel Club, and the National Animal Control Association all oppose BSL. Otto sums up their position this way: “If the goal is dog–bite prevention, then dogs should be treated as individuals under effective dangerous dog laws and not as part of a breed painted with certain traits that may not be applicable to each dog. By doing so, owners of well–trained, gentle dogs are not punished by a breed ban, while dangerous dogs of all breeds are regulated and may have their day in court to be proven dangerous.”

                                  American Society for the prevention of  cruelty to animals

The ASPCA has proposed a list of solutions for inclusion in breed–neutral laws that hold reckless dog owners accountable for their aggressive animals:  Enhanced enforcement of dog license laws, with adequate fees to augment animal control budgets and surcharges on ownership of unaltered dogs to help fund low–cost pet- sterilization programs. High–penalty fees should be imposed on those who fail to license a dog.Enhanced enforcement of leash/dog–at–large laws, with adequate penalties to supplement animal control funding and to ensure the law is taken seriously. Dangerous dog laws that are breed neutral and focus on the behavior of the individual dog, with mandated sterilization and microchipping of dogs deemed dangerous and options for mandating muzzling, confinement, adult supervision, training, owner education, and a hearings process with gradually increasing penalties, including euthanasia, in aggravated circumstances such as when a dog causes unjustified injury or simply cannot be controlled. (“Unjustified” typically is taken to mean the dog was not being harmed or provoked by anyone when the attack occurred.) Laws that hold dog owners financially accountable for failure to adhere to animal control laws, and also hold them civilly and criminally liable for unjustified injuries or damage caused by their dogs.
  Laws that prohibit chaining or tethering, coupled with enhanced enforcement of animal cruelty and fighting laws. Studies have shown that chained dogs are an attractive nuisance to children and others who approach them.

Laws that mandate the sterilization of shelter animals and make low–cost sterilization services widely available.

The National Canine Research Council has identified the most common factors found in fatal dog attacks occurring in 2006:
97 percent of the dogs involved were not spayed or neutered.

84 percent of the attacks involved owners who had abused or neglected their dogs, failed to contain their dogs, or failed to properly chain them
78 percent of the dogs were not kept as pets  but as guard , breeding, or yard dogs.
 A report on media bias by the National Canine Research Council (available on their website at Media/audience-interest test) compared the type of media coverage given for dog attacks that occurred during a four–day period in August 2007 with intriguing results:

   On day one, a Labrador mix attacked an elderly man, sending him to the hospital. News stories of his attack appeared in one article in the local paper.

  On day two, a mixed–breed dog injured a child. The local paper ran two stories.
  On day three, a mixed–breed dog attacked a child, sending him to the hospital. One article ran in the local paper.
 On day four, two pit bulls that broke off their chains attacked a woman trying to protect her small dog. She was hospitalized. Her dog was uninjured. This attack was reported in more than 230 articles in national and international newspapers and on the major cable news networks.

  It is not a stretch to see how such news coverage could influence calls for breed bans from the frightened public and its legislators

 Diane M Campbell