Breed Specific Legislation and what you need to know
What is Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)?
BSL is a law that is enacted by legislators, with hopes of reducing dog bites, unwanted criminal behavior, and achieving public safety. BSL targets specific types of dogs.
BSL is usually enacted as a knee jerk reaction that follows a highly publicized and often serious attack. Politicians often feel that they must do something to keep the public safe, and that they must do it now. Without little knowledge, efforts or time BSL is enacted and the problems of dog bites still remain.
BSL come in many forms, not only a ban.
BSL can be seen throughout out Canada, the USA, and Globally. Breed Specific Legislation can also be rules, regulations, requirements, and limitations. Examples of these forms of BSL are:
- Mandatory Spay/neutering
- Mandatory Muzzling in public and in cars
- Liability Insurance
- Special and higher licensing fees
- Mandatory Identification
- Age requirements for owning and walking
- Short leashes
- Automatic labeling of a dog as dangerous/vicious without previous bite history
- Not being able to go to off leash parks and city parks
- Requirements with respect to yard confinement
- Pet limits
- Mandatory reporting if the dog is deceased or re-homed
- Restrictions to public area
- Required accessories such as vests, collars etc.
- Mandatory photos held in a town file
- Mandatory dangerous dog signs on your home and property
- Mandatory enclosure requirements
- Higher fines
A ban or the restriction or prohibition of a certain breed or dogs presumed to be of these breeds and or mixed breed of is an extreme measure of BSL. An example of this level of BSL can be seen in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and throughout the entire province of Ontario.
If you live in places where BANS are enacted and have a dog (that is not "grandfathered" in) that fits the physical characteristics of what a banned dog is your dog may be at risk for seizure. If at this point you cannot prove that your dog is not of the said breeds your dog will either be: adopted out or province/city, taken to a testing facility or euthanized.
BSL come in many forms, and all forms have been proven to be ineffective in reaching the “goals” that it sets out to do. BSL does not reduce dog bites, BSL does not decrease crime rates, and BSL does not contribute to safer communities.
Instead BSL is responsible for family pets and shelter/rescue dogs being euthanized for no reason other than their physical characteristics. It is responsible for tearing apart families, having families leave everything behind to save their dogs, and for having owners live in fear. It is a waste of public resources, time and funds.
Please join our Facebook page to learn more about BSL and what you can do to become more proactive in our fight to end BSL.