BSL

Breed Specific Legislation
It has been evident over and over again that what we have come to know as BLS or “Breed Specific Legislation,” is absolutely pointless and non-practical. BSL is a proven failure, and has time and time again victimized innocent dogs and their responsible owners, instead of targeting the real problem(s) at hand: animal abuse, neglect, exploitation, and of course the sum of all mentioned, the infamous irresponsible dog owner!

 

What you can do to help the fight against BSL:

1. Stay informed – Visit the website and the BSL links provided to make sure you know what is going on in your city.

2. Contact your MPP – Let them know that you oppose breed specific legislation, and that you demand stronger laws pertaining to animal abuse and neglect. Punish the DEED, not the BREED. Click here for a guide on how to write an effective letter.

3. Understand the law – Be a responsible owner. Make sure you follow the bylaws in your city and show others that you are providing a good example of what it means to be a responsible dog owner.

4. Stay active – If there are any events or fundraisers in your community that help in the fight against BSL, try to show up and donate your time and money if you can.

5. Educate others – Let others know about the reality of BSL, and how it will not help to keep communities safer from dangerous dogs. Let people know that its important that animal cruelty laws be strengthened in order to prevent irresponsible and abusive people from owning animals in the first place. Any dog in the wrong hands can become a dangerous animal.

6. Boycott businesses that discriminate specific breeds – certain airlines and hotels will not provide you with their services if you have a specific breed of dog. Tell them how you feel about this discrimination, and let them know that you will definitely be staying away from them.

7. Support local pit bull rescue organizations and shelters – Volunteer for them if you have the time, donate items such as pet beds, towels, crates, food or money.

8. Show your dog off to the public – If you have a well trained, well behaved pit bull, why not show everyone what kind of breed this really is?

9. Do not support anti-pit bull humane organizations – PETA, for example, is anti-pit bull. Other organizations may also claim that they are pro animal rights or welfare, but may be keeping similar information from the public. Always make sure you know about who and what you are supporting.

10. Do not breed your dog – There are far too many abandoned and homeless pit bulls in shelters and city pounds waiting for a good home. Do not add to the problem, leave the breeding to the experts!


 

REGARDING THE STATUS OF BILL 132

November 18th, 2009, MPP Cheri Di Novo from Parkdale-Highpark, Toronto took her private member’s bill to Queen’s Park for the removal of breed specific legislation. The bill has passed its first reading and will be brought back to the legislature Fall 2010.

We are encouraging all supporters in favour of Cheri’s bill not to give up and keep advocating for the cause. Having a full year, means we have 12 months to spread greater awareness, educate the general public and use our power to convince our MPP’s to vote in favor of the bill next time around. Please continue to contact your MPP, display posters, write letters, and tell everyone you know about the great injustice caused by BSL / Bill 132. WE thank ALL of our supporters who took the time to contact their MPP and Cheri, who displayed posters and who came to Toronto to join in on the rally. Cheri’s office reported receiving over 1,000 letters of support which is outstanding.

Please keep sending those letters and making those phone calls! We are stronger in numbers! For more information, please visit:

This is what Breed Specific Legislation does to innocent dogs. This picture shows just one load of dogs killed as a result of the Denver BSL. And we ask ourselves, who would ever support such cruelty? Apparently, politicians and a brain (or media!) washed public. ITS TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE!

Lets take a look at the facts when it comes to dog attacks:

Although the ever popular media myth may claim otherwise, dog attacks are not breed specific. The reason that pit bulls receive all the media attention is due to the extent of the damage that these dogs are capable of. Despite not having lock jaws, which is a complete myth, pit bulls are capable of powerful bites due to their extremely strong jaws and willingness to hold on. And although responsible pit bull owners do not deny that these attacks have been horrifying and feel sympathetic towards the victims, pit bull owners also face hardship and suffering from society due to their choice of breed. In this case, there is more than one victim involved.

 


Demonstration against Bill 132 in Toronto, Ontario
Before anyone jumps on the “ban pit bulls” bandwagon, it would be a very wise idea to do research and familiarize oneself with facts; something that the liberal government in Ontario, for example, has not come up with when proposing the pit bull ban in 2004. Instead, many governments use the media to create a culture of fear within society, that portrays the government as a hero to the public; one that is fighting the evil villain: the vicious and savage beast, the pit bull. Instead of blindly following the media’s bias message on this breed, let us quickly look at some stats:

American Temperament Test Society (ATTS) results 2008

– Boarder Collie 80.6%
– Cocker Spaniel 81.9%
– Great Dane 79.2%
– Golden Retriever 84.6%
– Old English Sheepdog 76.6%
– Beagle 81.0%
– Bearded Collie 53.3%
– Rhodesian Ridgeback 82.4%
– Samoyed 79.2%

– Staffordshire Bull Terrier 88.0%
– American Pit Bull Terrier 85.3%
– American Staffordshire Terrier 83.9%

It is upsetting to see that simple stats such as these are not mentioned by the media, or the governments in favor of BSL. The American Temperament Test Society is responsible for testing hundreds of breeds for their temperament: how they respond in various stressful situations. If they portray any form of aggression, shyness, or fear, they automatically fail. Pit bulls received a higher grade than most other breeds. Could this possibly hint at the fact that pit bulls aren’t “ticking time bombs?” The liberal government doesn’t think so, despite educated and researched facts presented to them by various expert organizations such as the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the Ontario Health and Safety Board, just to name a few. But instead of stating opinions, let us look at even more facts that are so clearly discarded:

BSL has proven that banning a specific breed of dog does not create safer communities. In many countries where pit bulls (or any other breed for that matter) have been banned, dog attacks have not decreased in number. Instead, the criminals, “dog men,” and irresponsible owners that owned aggressive dogs and never obeyed laws in the first place, simply moved onto to other breeds; German Shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers, Dogo Argentinos, etc.

 

In Manitoba, Canada, pit bulls were banned in 1990. The liberal government in Ontario argues that because of BSL, pit bull attacks have went down in numbers dramatically. Although this may be true, let us not omit the fact that number of dog attacks overall went up, instead of going down:

-1990(the year the ban was introduced) 214 bites
-1991 275
-1992 264
-1993 256
-1994 301

The expert input on Breed Specific Legislation (specifically Bill 132 in Ontario):
“Bill 132 willfully legislates profiling, prejudices and paranoia, which is what it will create.”
– Cathie Cino, expert cited by Bryant in legislature

– 81 of 103 presenters spoke against BSL
– 49 organizations representing dog experts spoke against the ban; 4 represented breeds named in the bill and two represented animal rights organizations.
– Not a single expert organization representing dogs approved of this approach.
– These experts included animal control from Mississauga and Sudbury.
– Victims of bites by other breeds spoke against breed specific legislation

The experts’ (including the Canadian Veterinary Association, the CKC, the UKC, and various dog trainers and behaviorists, to name a few) opinions:

 

  • “Pit bulls” are not inherently or genetically different than other breeds.
  • The top 4 biters by breed are German Shepherds, Rottweillers, Cocker Spaniels, and Golden Retrievers.
  • Bites by “pit bull” type dogs account for less than 5% of all serious bites in Canada.
  • It is a myth that “pit bull” type dogs are unique in how they attack. Other breeds also have a bite and hold pattern.
  • There is no qualitative difference between a serious attack by a “pit bull” and one by another breed of a comparable size.
  • A bite and hold attack is not qualitatively more severe than a series of slashing bites typical for a breed like the German Shepherd.
  • Dogs in attacks are regularly misidentified as “pit bulls”. If “pit bull” attacks were qualitatively different then this confusion should not exist.
  • Breed bans are unenforceable.
  • Breed bans are extremely expensive.
  • Breed bans unfairly punish responsible owners while irresponsible owners ignore the laws.
  • 80% of bite victims are children who will be bitten in their home or at a neighbour’s by the family dog. Research shows that just 1 hour of dog safety training in grades 2 and 3 can reduce these attacks by 80%. 

    Sarah Adams’ Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tully
     

    There is a better solution: the Calgary model. It is proven to work.

    To achieve the same success in Winnipeg that was seen in Calgary using its ‘breed ban’ approach, Winnipeg would have to ban 58% of its dog population.

    The victims who spoke out against Bill 132 said:
    “Please, let’s not look at banning specific breeds of dogs. Let’s look at banning the irresponsible, dangerous owners who either train their dogs to attack or don’t train them in good behavior. Put them in jail. Fine them as you would a drunk driver. Make our society aware that if their dog attacks, there will be serious consequences, not months and years of lawyers battling in the legal system. That’s what happened to us and that’s just not right.”
    – Donna Trempe, whose daughter Courtney was killed by a Bull Mastiff in 1998

    “My mother stopped counting stitches at 250. That was before the top layer of my skin was reattached. One third of my scalp had to be reattached to my skull. An opiate-class narcotic was prescribed for the pain. I take exception that this bite would have been quantitatively less painful than one from a dog under section 1. The pain was very, very real, and the trauma was real.”
    – Krys Pritchard who was attacked by the family dog (not a “pit bull”)

    The bottom line: Calgary enacted dangerous dog legislation in response to an escalating bite problem. The results were incredible. Bites have dropped by 70% and the city’s animal control program pays for itself. Police work with animal control in dangerous situations like the one mentioned by Julian Fantino last week; the Calgary approach effectively manages the problems Fantino outlined. This is the model that Ontario should be looking at. This was the advice of the experts.

     


    Below, you will find, with the permission of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty towards Animals (OSPCA), the humane society’s alternative solutions to BSL; the 10-point plan: 1. Improving the Ontario SPCA Act (Ontario’s animal protection legislation) since aggression often results from dog neglect or mistreatment;
    2. Improving animal control and welfare legislation, including the improvement and enforcement of the Dog Owner’s Liability Act;
    3. Regulating breeding and kennels, restricting indiscriminate breeding and deliberate breeding for aggression;
    4. Eliminating dog fighting operations and banning the breeding or training of dogs for fighting;
    5. Restricting attack training of dogs for personal protection;
    6. Promoting responsibility for pet acquisition and ownership, including training and socialization;
    7. Establishing spay/neuter programs to reduce numbers of unwanted animals and indiscriminate breeding;
    8. Increasing education and dog bite prevention programs;
    9. Compilation of dog bite statistics and a dog bite registry;
    10. Providing more resources for the enforcement of legislation and education.

    To find more information on BSL, please visit the “links” section of the website, where you will find a variety of pit bull related websites at your convenience.