BBCR Fight Against BSL
WHAT IS BSL?
BSL is the abbreviation, as well as the common term, for Breed Specific Legislation. By definition, BSL is a law or ordinance passed by a legislative body and pertains to a specific breed or breeds of dogs. In the practice of law, it generally refers to laws and ordinances that limit or prohibit the ownership of listed breeds.
In some cases, breed specific legislation is established as a response to a well publicized event or series of events involving the targeted breeds. Generally the American Pit Bull Terrier or “pit bull type” dogs. The pit bull’s history of dog fighting has led to a large scale public misconception of aggression and made it the foremost target of BSL to date. Many cities and states have enacted bans with varying levels of owner liability, control of dog, and unfortunately in many cases, relinquishment and or destruction of dogs determined to be APBT or their direct relatives. Surprisingly, given the deep history of the APBT, many military bases have also adopted generalized breed bans. Army and Marine Corps are the primary military service organizations that do not allow certain breeds to live within the bases.
Often, there is no specific incident that justifies a breed ban in a city or state, but more often it is a response to a highly public account of the target breed allegedly being involved in an incident with other animals or people. Frequently the ban is a response to an act of aggression where the dog involved is alleged to be an APBT. So many times the dog is not an APBT or even a descendant of the breed, or the incident occurred the heels of irresponsible ownership. Sadly, in most cases, the dog pays the price with it’s life because the dog has been profiled by appearance to be “Dangerous” and/or “Aggresive”. Although no organization should accept or condone aggression in any breed of dog, the APBT has lost its role as the American breed that stood for loyalty, strength, courage and love and found a new role as a breed on the cusp of human imposed extinction for no other reason than the traits that made them so desirable to men in past. The most noble and fearless breed man has ever called friend is walking a tightrope for it’s existence, and more legislation is being added each year. Without owners, breeders, registries and canine professionals lending their knowledge and experience with this breed, we may find ourselves remembering the American Pit Bull Terrier instead of appreciating it.