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Breed specific legislation part 2

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A large problem with BSL is that identifying breeds is often subjective. The reliability of genetic breed testing is subjective depending on who you ask. And anyone can say a dog is one breed or another, that doesn't make it true. Many pit bull owners call their dog a mix of something else to avoid the stigma attached. And the term ‘pit bull’ can refer to a whole group of dogs with similar characteristics.

BSL is nearly impossible to enforce and puts the brunt of the work on already under funded animal control agencies. It also infringes upon our 5th and 14th Amendment rights.

Currently there are 14 states that prohibit such laws and Washington is moving toward that. HB2117 is a bill AGAINST BSL but has since died in committees. The more people that know about this bill, hopefully the more support it can garnish and get it approved. There are currently 26 cities in Washington that have breed specific legislation in place (pit bulls are banned in Yakima for example) but federal law trumps local.

What are the actual risk factors for biting dogs? The dog's upbringing, quality of life, personality, hormones (non-neutered dogs are more likely to bite than their counterparts), and an owners ability to recognize warning signs. All of these things fall under the responsibility of the owner, not the dog. Many unfairly maligned breeds like pit bulls are the victims of poor ownership. An interesting slogan is this "It's the deed, not the breed"! Educate, don’t discriminate. And banning a dog based on breed has been likened to banning a person because of their race.

Deirdre's suggestion for real solutions: Enforce existing leash laws, hold reckless owners accountable, enforce tethering laws (laws that prohibit dogs from being tethered up and left), spay/neuter, pain free/positive reinforcement training, and close the gaps in federal dog fighting laws. All six of these solutions make logical sense and hold science over emotion. So let's support breed neutral laws like HB2117 and put the responsibility on the real guilty party: the people, not the dogs.

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