Breed specific legislation doesn’t address the real issue
To the Editor:
Reading that Caledonia is considering banning pittbulls disturbs me greatly. This is called breed specific legislation (BSL). This tactic absolutely does not work to protect public safety, is costly and fails to address the root cause of violence issues.
The problem is not specific breeds; be it pittbulls (not really a breed but an encompassing term), Rottweiler’s, Dobermans or any mixed dog that just happens to look like one of those breeds. The problem is bad people and lack of care/training/socialization by dog owners.
Instead, we as a society must hold the owners accountable. There are many laws and programs we could use to curtail the problem. This includes dog licensing and leash laws, prohibiting animal fighting as a so-called sport, laws banning puppy mills and those that require all owners to control their dogs regardless of breed.
We need to support programs that facilitate low cost spaying/neutering as well as programs to train and socialize dogs along with their people.
Think about the following as just a sample of facts on the issue:
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) more than 70 percent of all dog bites involve unneutered male dogs.
The American Humane Society notes BSL may even encourage outlaw-type people to have these breeds to bolster their gangster image.
Ironically, pittbulls were called the “nanny breed” in England because they are strong, intelligent, loyal and possess a strong desire to please their owners; the traits that attract the criminal element to them as well.
BSL punishes good dogs and good dog owners.
BSL is opposed by the American Kennel Club, the American Veterinary Medical Association, ASPCA and a host of national animal welfare organizations that have studied the issue and recognize that targeting breeds simply does not work!
We owe it to man’s best friend to effectively and fairly enforce breed-neutral laws that hold owners accountable for their animal’s actions. For factual information and suggested alternatives go to http://www.americanhumane.org/