Bully breeds, like the pit bull, are targeted by breed-specific legislation. (Credit: Jack Hollingsworth/Corbis)
Pit bulls and their owners, rejoice! Six states are considering bills that would make breed-specific legislation illegal.
The states examining the issue are Maryland, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and Washington. If any of them sign a bill into law, they would join 17 others that prohibit bans based on breed, according to the Huffington Post.
Like the name describes, breed-specific legislation (BSL) are laws that would ban or restrict owning dogs considered to be dangerous, like pit bulls, Rottweilers, and German shepherds, according to the American Humane Society.
BSL critics, who include President Obama, argue that BSL isn’t well supported. The American Human Society claims there is little evidence proving BSL reduces dog bites and attacks, and that unfavorable situations result in altercations, not the dog itself. Best Friends Animal Society also maintains that enforcing breed bans would be expensive, as illustrated in this calculation tool.
According to DogsBite.org, more than 700 cities in the United States have breed-specific legislation, including Denver. Breed-specific bans can also be found abroad in Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain and Ireland, among other countries.
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