BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION (BSL)
Breed Specific Legislation punishes innocent dogs based entirely on what breed they happen to be born, nothing else. The legislation can range from certain breeds being legally required to be muzzled in public at all times or certain breeds requiring mandatory neutering, to there being an out right ban on a breed of dog. This is what there is most opposition to, as it results in many innocent dogs being put to death and leaves many families heart broken.
As well as breed discrimination, weight discrimination against pets is in operation, as some places ban pets that weigh more that 25 pounds when fully grown.
Above: A quote from ‘The Dog Whisperer’, Cesar Milan. (Credit: http://nodogaboutit.wordpress.com).
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In the UK, Breed Specific Legislation was introduced and owning certain dog breeds was made illegal. Under the Dangerous Dogs Act four breeds of dog are banned – the pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro. This is despite the fact that the majority of these dogs are gentle, loving, affectionate and friendly family dogs, and completely innocent of any wrong doing.
On introduction of this Breed Specific Legislation, every one of these breeds in the UK was taken from it’s family and put to death. Anybody who did not give their dog up was prosecuted and their dog was taken and put to death anyway.
There are constantly new dogs and and their families becoming innocent victims of BSL in the UK and other countries, despite being responsible owners and their innocent dogs having done nothing wrong.
In the UK, a worrying number of bad owners abused their pit bull dogs and the other breeds that have subsequently been made illegal. Many people trained them to be aggressive and treated them like weapons. This resulted in a few high profile dog attacks.
Instead of seeing that dangerous dog OWNERS are the problem that need to be dealt with, the UK Government decided that making these dog breeds illegal and putting them to death was the answer. This is despite the vast majority of these dogs having shown no aggression at all.
Other Governments also have similar legislation, and others are currently considering it.
It looks like the UK Government are one of the many Governments happy being blind to the fact that a dog’s behaviour is nearly always due to how it is trained and treated.
The UK have already rejected a bid to replace the Dangerous Dogs Act with a new law placing responsibility for a dog’s behaviour on the owner or person in charge of it.
Numerous innocent dogs and owners have become victims due to the knee-jerk reactions of Governments, choosing to bring in Breed specific legislation instead of dealing with the real issue of problem owners. Many more innocent dogs and their owners are constantly under threat of becoming innocent victims.
If your dog is suspected to be an illegal breed by the authorities, it is not their responsibility to prove it is. It is up to you to prove it is NOT. This is often an impossible – and very expensive – task.
You can even end up with a Pit Bull by accident. If you cross something like a boxer and a labrador or a labrador and a mastiff, you end up with a dog that looks like a pit bull.
An example of just one of the many innocent dogs is Lennox, from Belfast in Ireland. This gentle dog was taken from his family and has been held for the last couple of years in a council death row pound. The family are not allowed to see him, or even know where he is held. They fight on in court to save his life, and the case has generated a lot of publicity. Loving Lennox served as a therapy pet for the family’s daughter, and she is especially badly affected by the situation.
Lennox has been sentenced to death by an Irish court.
At 7am this morning, Belfast City Council murdered Lennox, an innocent dog who had never done anything wrong.
The heartless council, who ripped this loving pet from the heart of his family’s home & kept him in lonely, isolated conditions for over 2 years, did not even let his devastated family say goodbye.
For anyone not familiar with Lennox’ case, Lennox, like many other innocent dogs that have been murdered by the authorities, is a victim of breed specific legislation (BSL), such as The Dangerous Dog Act (DDA). Brought in in 1991 by the Government, the Act banned certain dog breeds, implying these breeds had the tendency to be dangerous & attack.
Since then, dog attacks have tripled. This is because it was never certain dog breeds that were dangerous, it was, and is, certain types of owners who purposely train dogs to be aggressive. These owners are attracted to dogs they feel have look intimidating, (even though by nature they are extremely gentle).
The Government decided that, rather than trying to hold bad owners responsible and punishing them, it would be easier to murder the main dog breeds that the bad owners were attracted to and training to be aggressive. Despite many of them being gentle, loving family dogs, that have never done anything wrong, if they appear on the dangerous dogs list, they were murdered. This continues to happen every day.
The reason dog attacks have gone up in number is that many of these bad owners have moved from training banned breeds to be aggressive, to doing it with legal breeds instead.
Tragically, there are numerous, less well known, cases like this happening wherever breed specific legislation exists.
Above: Innocent family dog Lennox was seized from his family purely because of his looks. He is on death row in a secret location kept from his family, alone and in a small, cold concrete cell, as this heart breaking photograph shows. He is only still alive after all this time because his family continue to fight in court to save his life. Lennox, and many, many more innocent, non-aggressive dogs suffer like this due to breed specific legislation.
Breed Legislation has been a disaster in the UK and completely ineffective against what it was designed for.
NHS figures showed the number of dog attacks had tripled since 1991, when the Dangerous Dogs Act was brought in and certain dog breeds were made illegal.
Research by the RSPCA has shown that there are now more Pit Bull terriers in the UK than there were when the Dangerous Dogs Act was passed.
David Grant of the RSPCA said: “It’s just a completely out of control situation …[it] is actually worse than before the Act came in.”
The RSPCA has said that The Dangerous Dogs Act needs to be changed to focus instead on owners, but despite the complete failure of BSL in the UK, the UK Government continue to think they know better.
The New York Housing Authority bans pets weighing over 25 pounds when fully grown and will confiscate them, so weight discrimination of pets is also in operation. This leads to owners starving dogs that should naturally be over 25 pounds for their size, to get them under the weight limit so their lives can be saved. This is another ban that causes perfectly innocent, gentle dogs to be put to death solely on the basis of what they look like.
Breed Specific Legislation is completely unjust. A person cannot help but draw a parallel to racism and liken it to genocide.
It causes huge amounts of distress and heartbreak for families who lose a pet they consider to be a member of their family.
The legislation is in operation in many countries and continues to be a constant threat to innocent dogs and their owners everywhere.
Credits Left to Right: starbreezes.com/11/breedban.html and fit4pitsadvocates.weebly.com
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