A bill recently filed with the Missouri State Legislature hopes to ban breed specific legislation across the entire state of Missouri if passed.
Missouri State Representative Bruce DeGroot (R) is sponsoring House Bill 1398, a proposed bill that would eliminate breed specific legislation across the entire state by prohibiting ‘villages, towns, and cities from regulating dogs in a breed-specific manner’.
Essentially, the bill will allow Missourians, no matter where they live in the state, to own any breed of dog they choose.
Currently, 43 cities, towns, or villages across the state have breed specific legislation in place. Breed specific legislation, or BSL, are laws put in place by counties, cities, states, or communities that discriminate against certain dogs based on their breed or appearance alone, without regard to temperament or history of aggression. Most breed specific legislation target Pit Bulls, a broad term used to describe breeds including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, or mixed-breed and other dogs having physical characteristics common to these breeds. In addition to pit bulls, many BSL laws target Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and other dog breeds.
The proposed bill is in the very early stages of development and must be assigned a committee or hearing before it can move forward. If you live in the state of Missouri, contact your local legislators and urge them to support HB 1398, making Missouri a dog-friendly state for ALL breeds and breed mixes.