Breed Specific Legislation- Good or Not?

October 3rd, 2012 at 5:52 am EDT

A happy Wednesday to you.

Breed Specific Legislation.

It's in the news in my area, specifically in reference to Pit Bulls.

B.C. pit-bull owners rally in Vancouver to protect breed

A number of recent pit-bull attacks on children have renewed calls for a pit-bull ban in B.C.

In White Rock, four-year-old Emma-Leigh Cranford had her throat ripped out by a dog belonging to a friend of the family. The young girl survived, with 40 stitches across her jaw after two hours of surgery at B.C. Children’s Hospital.

A few days later, a three-year-old Kelowna boy received 32 stitches in his face after he reached down to pet a pit bull.

The B.C. SPCA has said a pit-bull ban wouldn’t work.

I personally tend to agree with the SPCA on this position.

BC SPCA Position on Breed Specific Legislation

The most effective way to protect the public from dangerous dogs is with multifaceted strategies that address aggressive behaviour in dogs of any and all breeds.

That's according to BC SPCA animal welfare manager Geoff Urton, who is urging  government, animal welfare organizations and other stakeholders to work together on multi-faceted strategies such as those set out in the society's new set of model bylaws.

Urton, who co-authored the model bylaws, says evidence is clear that the breed-specific bylaws that simply target breeds like pit bulls and Staffordshire terriers don't work, and he wants municipalities to adopt legislation that proactively addresses many of the predisposing factors to canine aggression problems in a community.

"Breed-specific bylaws give the public a false sense of security," says Urton. "Any dog can bite."

According to statistics, unneutered male dogs are involved in 70 to 76 per cent of dog bite incidents, and unspayed female dogs encourage roaming and aggressive behaviour in males. Dogs are also more inclined to become aggressive with poor socialization, improper training and inadequate living conditions.

The BC SPCA's evidence-based model bylaws propose animal control bylaws that promote spaying and neutering, mandatory pet identification, restrictions on keeping unsocialized backyard dogs, tougher laws against the neglect of an animal, effective licensing programs that regulate breeding facilities and pet stores, registration of aggressive dogs by veterinarians, groomers, police, postal carriers and meter readers and the development of resources to assist guardians of dogs with aggression problems.

"This approach will protect families and dog guardians alike far better than breed-specific legislation or an outright breed ban," says Urton.

The municipality of Delta is currently considering a proposal to eliminate breed-specific legislation from its animal control bylaw.

Heal Your Pet At Home!

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

P.S. Clearly this is an issue fraught with emotion, but BANNING a individual breed does not make sense.

Feel free to comment on this at my new forum:

P.P.S. Can you treat your pet at home?


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Use my newsletter and blog.

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DISCLAIMER: This information is for educational purposes only and
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Dr Andrew Jones resigned from the College of Veterinarians of
B.C. effective December 1 2010, meaning he cannot answer specific
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medical recommendations for your pet.

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