Why I’m against breed specific Legislation?Corey Farrugia
What is breed specific legislation?
Breed specific legislation is a term referring to a set of laws enacted in order to protect the citizens of a community from dangerous dogs by categorising specific breeds as dangerous. These breeds are generally either banned or prospective owners often need special permits that can be acquired after undergoing intense scrutiny. Dog breeds often targeted by these laws are usually those that have the classical “Pitbull” look, such as the American Staffordshire terrier, the American Bulldog, the Bull terrier and many more. Other breeds affected can be Rottweilers, Chow Chows, Dalmatians and the list goes on.
In order to save yourself a whole lot of trouble, we, at Newdoggy.com, suggest that you make sure that you are up to speed with your country’s laws before purchasing your puppy.
Why did Breed Specific Legislation come about?
As media grew in its capacity as a communicative tool, so did the viewer’s penchant for sensational news. As more time passed this fact was capitalized upon by publishers and TV stations to hook its audience and get more viewers. Dog related incidences found their place within this hotchpotch of sensationalized misinformation. Since being viciously attacked by a Dachshund is not as newsworthy as being bitten by a Doberman, dog attack incidents were disproportionately represented resulting in the modern fear of big, intimidating dogs.
What do the numbers say?
It is easy for news of fatal dog attacks to leave a lasting impression on you, especially when bolstered by graphic imagery and some family member’s personal accounts. What you need to know is that what you are told by the media and people you know might be a half-baked truth. Things start making more sense when you compare the odds based on official statistics. An average of 15 dog related fatalities happen in America every year; but the USA has a population of over 300 million people. Mulling over these facts goes to show how miniscule the probability of being mauled to death by a dog actually is. The probability of falling victim to any specific breed is even slimmer. When one compares the numbers to other statistics one can find that it is much more likely for people to commit suicide, be part of a fatal car accident or get murdered by loved ones rather than ending up being victims of a fatal dog attack.
It is also speculated that dog attack incidences involving smaller dog breeds are underreported since the resultant injuries are often of a minor nature. Therefore this results in an unfair, skewed misrepresentation of larger dog breeds being more vicious.
My position on Breed specific legislation?
Given the numbers it is logical to say that scapegoating certain dog breeds by dubbing them too dangerous to be socially acceptable is very unfair to these dogs and their owners. Breed profiling is also highly unreliable often resulting in perfectly behaved dogs being torn away from their loving families just because of the way they look. Armed with ignorance and a general fear of dogs, most victims heap any kind of vicious under the “Pitbull” moniker. This behaviour is reminiscent of racism, a behaviour that is widely abhorred in many developed nations. Just as we don’t discriminate against strong people for their potential to cause harm, we should also not discriminate against dog breeds based on how strong and intimidating they seem. Furthermore, to this day breed specific legislation has proven to be unsuccessful, since although law implementation is unforgiving, dog attacks in the US are on the rise. Importantly, some of these attacks are also being perpetrated by popular, highly regarded breeds, further proving that the problem does not lie with any breed in particular but with a general public that seems to grow increasingly less dog savvy as time passes. Given that most dog attacks result due to neglect and irresponsible behaviour by dog owners, the job of the state and its legislation should be to educate citizens and teach them the fundamentals of being a responsible citizen and dog owner.