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American Veterinary Medical Association: "Frequently breed-specific legislation focuses on dogs with a certain appearance or physical characteristics instead of an actual breed. “Pit bulls” are the most frequent victims of breed-specific legislation despite being a general type rather than a breed, but specific breeds are also sometimes banned including Rottweilers, Dobermans and boxers. Breed-specific laws can be tough to enforce, especially when a dog’s breed can’t easily be determined or it is of mixed breed. A recent study showed that even people very familiar with dog breeds cannot reliably determine the primary breed of a mutt, and dogs are often incorrectly classified as “pit bulls.” By generalizing the behaviors of dogs that look a certain way, innocent dogs suffer and may even be euthanized without evidence that they pose a threat. Responsible dog owners are forced to give up their dogs or move. Cities and states spend money enforcing restrictions and bans instead of putting that money to better use by establishing and strictly enforcing licensing and leash laws, and responding proactively to target owners of any dog that poses a risk to the community." (2016).

Best Friends Animal Society: "Besides the fact that [breed-discriminatory legislation] wastes tax dollars and fails to protect people from dog bites, it can result in the Breed Specific Legislation relies deaths of thousands of wonderful family on identifying a dogs who have never bothered anyone. If a dog by appearance, breed ban is instituted in your community, yet studies show visual identification law enforcement officials may be forced to to be largely inaccurate take dogs away from their loving families and place them in already crowded animal shelters, where they will most likely be killed. Families can file lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the ordinances, but that can be expensive." (2016). British Veterinary Association: “Responsible ownership is key to preventing dog bites or strikes. We believe that dog behaviour results primarily from the rearing and training provided by the owner and only in part from inherited characteristics. In principle, we are opposed to any proposal or legislation that singles out par-

ADVOCACY

ticular breeds of dogs rather than targeting individual aggressive dogs. The problems caused by dangerous dogs will never be solved until dog owners appreciate that they are responsible for the actions of their animals - the "deed not breed" principle.” (2014).

National Animal Care and Control Association: “Any animal may exhibit aggressive behavior regardless of breed. Accurately identifying a specific animal's lineage for prosecution purposes may be extremely difficult. Additionally, breed specific legislation may create an undue burden to owners who otherwise have demonstrated proper pet management and responsibility.” (2013). American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior: "The AVSAB’s position is that such legislation— often called breed-specific legislation (BSL)−is ineffective, and can lead to a false sense of community safety as well as welfare concerns for dogs identified (often incorrectly) as belonging to specific breeds.The importance of the reduction of dog bites is critical; however, the AVSAB’s view is that matching pet dogs to appropriate households, adequate early socialization and appropriate training, and owner and community education are most effective in preventing dog bites. Therefore, the AVSAB does support appropriate legislation regarding dangerous dogs, provided that it is education based and not breed specific." (2014).

National Canine Research Council: “Mistaken beliefs about dog-specific characteristics have often diverted us from a consideration of critical factors pertinent to the discussion of community safety and dog ownership... Responsible pet ownership practices are the foundation: the community institution of basic standards for owner responsibility has been shown to dramatically decrease dog bite incidence. These standards include humane care (providing proper diet, veterinary care, socialization and training), humane custody (licensing and providing permanent ID), and humane control (following leash laws and not allowing pets to become threats or nuisances to the community).” (2013). n

References

American Veterinary Medical Association. (n.d.). Why Breed-specific Legislation Is not the Answer. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from www.avma.org/public/Pages/Why-Breed-Specific-Legislation-is-not-the-Answer.aspx American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. (2014). Position Statement on Breed-Specific Legislation. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from www.avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08 /Breed-Specific_Legislation-download-_8-18-14.pdf Best Friends Animal Society. (n.d.). Dog Breed Discrimination: How to Prevent It in Your Community. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from www.bestfriends.org/resources/pit-bull-terriers/dog-breed-discrimination-how-prevent-it-your-community#Discrimination British Veterinary Association. (n.d.). Dangerous dogs. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from www.bva.co.uk/News-campaigns-and-policy /Policy/Companion-animals/Dangerous-dogs/ National Animal Care and Control Association. (n.d.). NACA Guidelines. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from www.c.ymcdn.com/sites /www.nacanet.org/resource/resmgr/Docs/NACA_Guidelines.pdf National Canine Research Council. (2013-2016). Injurious Dog Bites: Causes and Prevention. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/injurious-dog-bites/causes-and-prevention To read PPG’s full Position Statement on Breed Specific Legislation, and What the Experts Say, see www.petprofessionalguild.com/Breed-Specific-Legislation and www.petprofessionalguild.com/What-The-Experts-Say BARKS from the Guild/March 2017

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BARKS from the Guild March 2017  

The bi-monthly trade publication from the Pet Professional Guild covering all things animal behavior and training, canine, feline, equine, p...

BARKS from the Guild March 2017  

The bi-monthly trade publication from the Pet Professional Guild covering all things animal behavior and training, canine, feline, equine, p...