The petition is here.
Why do I oppose breed specific legislation?
Pit bulls are the breed most often targeted. Pit bulls are not a breed. They are a type. Various dogs look like pit bulls, so al sorts of dogs can be deemed dangerous, even if they are nice Lab mixes. The Pit bull classification is a nebulous term.
Some lines of Pit Bull are very aggressive, game bred animals. Most lines aren’t of this type. However, it’s very possible to buy a nice “American stafforshire terrier,” and maybe get a dog that bites someone. That does not mean that we need breed specific legislation.
Even if pit bulls are banned, there are dozens of other breeds that are bigger and even more likely to be aggressive than pit bulls or any of the other breeds usually mentioned in these laws. There are all sorts of fighting dogs from the developing world that could be imported as replacements for pit bulls.
Further, there are too many nice pit bulls around and too many nasty golden retreivers. Our idea about which dog is super-aggressive is really a matter of culture. Goldens might be a top biting breed now, but I’ve never heard of anyone wanting to ban them.
Finaly, if pit bulls or any other breed is banned, the owners will simply go underground. The dogs won’t get the vet care they need. In Ontario, where there is a total ban on bull and terrier breeds, the dogs still live there, but the law is haphazardly enforced. This means that there are lots of dogs living in the shadows. Do we really want dogs living in the shadows?
We do need laws to stop super-aggressive dogs. However, I’ve seen super aggression in Labs, and that breed is deemed the all-American family pet (even though it’s a Canadian-British breed.) We need laws that regulate bad dog behavior and irresponsible ownership.
Breed specific legislaton is a good thing for politicians to run on. Every pit bull attack is sensationalized, almost as badly as every missing white girl. But as a sound policy, it must be opposed. We have to think about the real unintended consequences of such a policy.