About Breed Specific Legislation


Pitbull dog looking at camera

I’ve spoken before about BSL (Breed Specific Legislation). We at Knotty Toys for Good Dogs think it’s terrible. Today I want to go into a bit more detail.

“Breed specific” legislation (BSL) is any law that bans or regulates a certain breed of dog under the justification that it is necessary for public safety & will help reduce the instances of dog bites. These laws can result in the killing of large numbers of dogs that for no other reason than they are of or look like they belong to a specific breed. So just looking a certain way can be a death sentence.

Pit bulls have fallen victim to breed specific legislation, but in previous times German shepherd, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, even Chow Chows were singled out as dangerous breeds. The question needs to be asked, why are certain breeds banned to own yet perfectly legal to breed?

The wording of Breed Specific Legislation varies from community to community. But the current target is the pit bull. A pit bull is not a single breed, but a rough categorization of three breeds: the American Pitbull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier & the Staffordshire bull terrier. Again it’s about appearance. A dog might not be any of these breeds but if it simply looks like one, it can be condemned. Sadly, during the second world war the Pit Bull was considered the ideal family dog. How times change.

It’s not just legislation. Many insurance companies won’t insure people if they own a dog deemed a dangerous breed. Some housing complexes list any breed with “pit” or “bull” in its name under the ban list, which may effectively ban bulldogs, French bulldogs, & any other dog that is not a pit bull at all. BSLs also can harm families seeking to adopt children if they own a dog that once again, appears to be a dangerous breed.

These laws are unfair & need to change. Most aggressive dogs were made that way by their owners. Some people feel they need a tough or fierce dog. No dog should be taken from it’s family simply because of appearance. There is no “dangerous breed”, that’s just nonsense. Finally, it’s very unfair to lower income families because if their dog is seized, only a court battle can save it. Not everyone can afford that.

Please write your local government. Tell them you are against BSL.

CEO Olivia