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What Is Breed Specific Legislation

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Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin is the founder, president, and soul behind Pinups for Pitbulls. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from Drexel University, where she specialized in breed-specific legislation.

What is breed specific legislature (BSL)?

BSL is Breed Specific Legislation. Now, what that means is that it’s a law set up usually to keep the community safe. So, it doesn’t necessarily start out with negative intentions, but it is the belief that a particular type of breed is causing issues in a town or a city and therefore they believed that that dog should be eradicated or muzzled, depending on what city we are talking about. Eighteen states now in the United States have banned Breeds Specific Legislation. What that means you cannot categorize a dog by its breed in certain states including New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Video Update 2017: There are now 21 states that prohibit breed-discriminatory legislatures

  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Connecticut
  5. Delaware
  6. Florida
  7. Illinois
  8. Maine
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Minnesota
  11. Nevada
  12. New Jersey
  13. New York
  14. Oklahoma
  15. Pennsylvania
  16. Rhode Island
  17.  South Carolina
  18. South Dakota
  19. Texas
  20. Utah
  21. Virginia

What is a breed ban?

A full breed ban requires dogs of a particular appearance to be removed from the municipality where the ban has been implemented. In some cases, these dogs are subject to being killed by animal control, though in some cases, such dogs may be saved if relocation is an option.

Breed-specific restrictions may require an owner of a targeted breed do any of the following or more, depending on how the law is written:

  • Muzzle the dog in public
  • Spay or neuter the dog
  • Contain the dog in a kennel with specific requirements (6′ chain link walls, lid, concrete floors, etc.)
  • Keep the dog on a leash of particular length or material
  • Purchase liability insurance of a certain amount
  • Place “vicious dog” signs on the outside of the residence where the dog lives
  • Make the dog wear a “vicious dog” tag or other identifying markers

The breed-specific legislation applies only to dogs of a particular appearance, not to any and all dogs. It does not take into account how the owner has raised, trained, or managed the dog. It does not take into account the dog’s actual behavior.

PFPB is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to educate people about the history, temperament, and plight of the pit bull-type dog; raising awareness to rally against Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) and Breed Discriminatory Laws (BDL). PFPB’s goal is to restore the image of the pit bull-type dog to its former reputation of America’s companion animal, war hero, and family member.