BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION

     

Wrong information always shown by the media, Negative images is the main criteria, Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria -  Where Is The Love? Black Eyed Peas "Elephunk" (2003)
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What is Breed Specific Legislation?
Breed-specific legislation is a law or ordinance passed by a legislative body pertaining to a specific breed or breeds of domesticated animals. In practice, it generally refers to laws or ordinances pertaining to a specific dog breed or breeds.
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Some jurisdictions have enacted breed-specific legislation in response to a number of well-publicized incidents involving pit bull-type dogs or other dog breeds commonly used in dog fighting, and some government organizations such as the United States Army and Marine Corps have taken administrative action as well. This legislation ranges from outright bans on the possession of these dogs to restrictions and conditions on ownership, and often establishes a legal presumption that these dogs are prima facie legally "dangerous" or "vicious." In response, some state-level governments in the United States have prohibited or restricted the ability of municipal governments within those states to enact breed-specific legislation.
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It is now generally settled in case law that jurisdictions in the United States and Canada have the right to enact breed-specific legislation; however, the appropriateness and effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in preventing dog bite fatalities and injuries is disputed. One point of view is that certain dog breeds are a public safety issue that merits actions such as banning ownership, mandatory spay/neuter for all dogs of these breeds, mandatory microchip implants and liability insurance, or prohibiting people convicted of a felony from owning them. Another point of view is that comprehensive "dog bite" legislation, coupled with better consumer education and legally mandating responsible pet keeping practices, is a better solution than breed-specific legislation to the problem of dangerous dogs. A third point of view is that breed-specific legislation should not ban breeds entirely but should strictly regulate the conditions under which specific breeds could be owned, e.g., forbidding certain classes of individuals from owning them, specifying public areas from which they would be prohibited, and establishing conditions, such as requiring a dog to wear a muzzle, for taking dogs from specific breeds into public places. Finally, some governments, such as in Australia, have forbidden the import of specific breeds and are requiring the spay/neuter of all existing dogs of these breeds in an attempt to slowly eliminate the population through natural attrition.
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The importation of the Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, American Pit Bull Terrier or Pit Bull Terrier, and Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario into Australia is absolutely prohibited.
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In New South Wales, Australia :-
(a) American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier,
(b) Japanese Tosa,
(c) Dogo Argentino,
(d) Fila Brasileiro, NSW the following dogs are restricted dogs:
(a) American Pit Bull Terrier or Pit Bull Terrier,
(b) Japanese Tosa,
(d1) any other dog of a breed, kind or description whose importation into Australia is prohibited by or under the Customs Act 1901 of the Commonwealth,
(e) any dog declared by an authorised officer of a council...to be a restricted dog,
(f) any other dog of a breed, kind or description prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this section.
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Restricted dogs may not be sold, given away, or acquired, and must be spay/neutered. They must be muzzled when in public, wear a special red-and-yellow collar, and may only be handled by a competent adult over the age of 18. The dog must live a secure enclosure when at home, and the owner must post "Warning: Dangerous Dog" signs on their property. The owner must also register the dog with the local government and notify the government if the dog attacks a person or animal, cannot be found, dies, has moved out of the area, or is now living at a different location within the local government's jurisdiction
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They are the cold, hard clinical facts courtesy Wikipedia
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BSL does not work. BSL does not consider the individual dog, its past actions and behaviour, or even the way the dog has been raised and treated by its owner. Just being of the "wrong" breed is all it takes - the dog is assumed to be guilty until proven innocent! Every dog has the potential to bite - regardless of breed. It is up to us, as responsible owners, to raise our dogs correctly, so they can become valuable members of our community. Banning a handful of breeds on the notion that they are "dangerous" will not stop dog attacks, and does nothing to address responsible dog ownership. Rather, the removal of one breed from society will simply turn the spotlight onto others. Once started, where will the banning stop? Australia is not the first country to consider banning entire breeds of dogs - but Australia is ignoring the results in other countries, where the introduction of BSL has failed to achieve any significant decrease in dog attacks.
Rather than banning entire breeds, education has proven to be the key to success in other countries - in one case resulting in the reduction of dog attacks by almost 50% in just 2 years!  It is time dog owners were put in the spotlight - dog owners must be educated on responsible dog ownership, and held accountable for the actions of their dog.

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Anti-dog legislation is gaining momentum at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, in most communities, dog owners do not become involved until they are faced with the consequences of the legislation. This means that others drive the agenda that affects their pets. Historically, the response to dog problems has been to fight each proposal one by one, city by city. This approach no longer works as more proposals are prepared each year. A new strategy with a more penetrating and focused effort is needed…one that embraces coalitions of informed citizens whose purpose is to guide and steer the course of legislation and the political future of officials who are bent on eliminating dogs from their community.
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At a minimum, every state and local community needs a well-defined code of conduct and a set of definitions that address the key labels used in anti-dog legislation. Coalitions must begin to collect data of their own that addresses a wide range of subjects. They must develop statistics to show that "pet overpopulation” is a myth and that, in many instances, the problem is the lack of responsible dog ownership. There continues to be communities who rely on data collected by the CDC, police and hospitals to craft their legislation and stigmatize breeds. Those who use CDC data do so based on the assumption that certain breeds are inherently more dangerous than others. While there is no science to support this approach, this idea has been allowed to stand mainly because the dog community and all of its recognized organizations have done nothing to disprove it. Data must be developed to show that breeds should not be characterized based on the behaviour of a few and that there are no genes that produce aggression
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A broad look at BSL and anti-dog legislation suggests that this area has grown so large that containment is no longer a viable strategy. The paradigm must change. Organizations and individuals must step up and help meet the challenge. They must commit to gathering facts and developing relationships that result in a working relationship between the elected official and the dog community. The relationship must be cultivated so that the elected official relies on the dog community for information and facts about dogs. The dog community must learn to do more than lobby against legislation. They must learn who their representatives are at the city, county, state and federal levels. Coalitions must engage the broader voting community through education in order to respond with a greater impact that is aimed at the political life of certain officials if necessary. The dog-owning public must protect their rights to own and control their own destiny and begin to hold accountable those officials who continue to support legislation adverse to dog ownership. In a democracy, the will of the people is not irrelevant.

                                                                                                                                                     Courtesy Carmen L. Battaglia

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