In December of 2012, a petition was created at The White House’s We the People petition site which proposed an end to breed specific legislation at the federal level.
After receiving over 30,000 signatures from Americans around the nation, the Obama Administration offered an official response entitled, Breed-Specific Legislation is a Bad Idea.
The response follows:
We don’t support breed-specific legislation — research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.
In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at twenty years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it’s virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds.
The CDC also noted that the types of people who look to exploit dogs aren’t deterred by breed regulations — when their communities establish a ban, these people just seek out new, unregulated breeds. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they’re intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.
For all those reasons, the CDC officially recommends against breed-specific legislation — which they call inappropriate. You can read more from them here.
As an alternative to breed-specific policies, the CDC recommends a community-based approach to prevent dog bites. And ultimately, we think that’s a much more promising way to build stronger communities of pets and pet owners.
While no federal action is being taken at this time, White House support of an eventual end to BSL is a major step in the right direction. There are currently no breed-specific bans in Washington D.C., but neighboring Prince George’s County (which surrounds DC on the North, East, and South) has had a pit bull ban in place since 1996.
Do you think that the Obama Administration’s support of ending breed-specific legislation will have an effect on these discriminatory laws in our nation? Weigh in with a comment below!