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Missouri rep trying to ban Breed-Specific Legislation

A "Pit Bull Terrier" smiles, knowing he will soon be free.
A "Pit Bull Terrier" smiles, knowing he will soon be free.
By Dnheinsdorf (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Representative Ron Hicks of Missouri congressional district 107 covering from O'Fallon to Wentzville introduced a bill to end canine discrimination in Missouri. There are currently 17 states with prohibitions against Breed-Specific Legislation, with 6 more, including Missouri, attempting to join them this year. The restrictive laws that would be banned most commonly affect breeds associated with use as guard dogs along with the mythical "Pit Bull" which isn't actually a breed at all.

Breed-Specific Legislation grew out of media hyperbole covering dog attacks in the 1980's. In the search for emotionally-charged journalism, they created the Pit Bull myth that has lingered on to this day. After a flood of sensationalized news stories, the public started demanding protection from this completely invented threat, leading to Breed-Specific Legislation, or BSL.

First things first, while the pit bull is the demon-dog in the minds of the public, there is no such breed to legislate against. Granted, the United Kennel Club of Britain has recognized a breed called the American Pit Bull Terrier since 1898, but similar dogs recognized by American Kennel Club are called the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Therefore, in America there is no such thing as a pit bull.

What usually happens is the BSL will ban American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinchers, etc. Any breed or mix of breeds that enough of the locals have irrational fears of. Then dog lovers become criminals as they try to hide their furry family members from neighbors and police. The laws are clearly unjust, and the country just is starting to realize that.

Wentzville, a town in Rep. Hicks' Missouri district, repealed their BSL last spring. The House Bill introduced by Hicks will do the same for other Missouri towns that have fallen behind the curve. Hopefully, we will soon be free to walk our dogs as nature intended, muzzle-free.

HB1116

Allows villages, towns, and cities to prohibit dogs from running at large or to further control or regulate dogs within their boundaries if the ordinances, orders, policies, or regulations are not breed specific