Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)

Introduction

Breed Specific Legislation punishes innocent dogs who have done nothing wrong. They are punished based entirely on what breed they happen to be, or even slightly resemble. Not only that, but police or animal control classifying a dog as even just suspected “type” (a banned breed) means the dog is seized and the owner will have to pay court costs to fight for the dogs life.

Even then, many times the dog will be put to sleep without ever being able to say goodbye to its owner.

If the dog has no apparent owner, there is no hope for it.

The legislation imposed by the court can range from dogs being legally required to be muzzled in public at all times and requiring mandatory neutering, to being put to sleep.

The latter is what there is most opposition to, as it results in many innocent dogs being put to death after being seized and kept in a facility away from their family for many months. It leaves many families heart broken.

As well as breed discrimination, weight discrimination against pets is in operation, as some places ban pets that weigh more that 25 pounds when fully grown.

Image: A quote from ‘The Dog Whisperer’, Cesar Milan. Source

5564beabc6133feb87958c32aabb58e1

BSL In The UK

In the UK, Breed Specific Legislation was introduced and owning certain dog breeds was made illegal. Under the Dangerous Dogs Act four breeds of dog are banned – the pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro. This is despite the fact that the majority of these dogs are gentle, loving, affectionate and friendly family dogs, and completely innocent of any wrong doing.

On introduction of this Breed Specific Legislation, every one of these breeds in the UK was taken from it’s family and put to death. Anybody who did not give their dog up was prosecuted and their dog was taken and put to death anyway.

There are constantly new dogs and and their families becoming innocent victims of BSL in the UK and other countries, despite being responsible owners and their innocent dogs having done nothing wrong.

Image: BSL Destroy’s families. Source

2c4a2490a9a37b49f3b3f38134d652f3

Return To Table Of Contents

Why Is BSL Brought In?

In the UK, a worrying number of bad owners abused their pit bull dogs and the other breeds that have subsequently been made illegal. Many people trained them to be aggressive and treated them like weapons. This resulted in a few high profile dog attacks.

Instead of seeing that dangerous dog OWNERS are the problem that need to be dealt with, the UK Government decided that making these dog breeds illegal and putting them to death was the answer. This is despite the vast majority of these dogs having shown no aggression at all.

Other Governments also have similar legislation, and others are currently considering it.

It looks like the UK Government are one of the many Governments happy being blind to the fact that a dog’s behaviour is nearly always due to how it is trained and treated.

The UK have already rejected a bid to replace the Dangerous Dogs Act with a new law placing responsibility for a dog’s behaviour on the owner or person in charge of it.

Image: The beast is most often the two legged animal at the other end of the leash. Source

05ac3060cc5c9d02b1f91a37c05bc8a9

Return To Table Of Contents

Many Innocent Dogs And Owners Are Victims Of BSL

Numerous innocent dogs and owners have become victims due to the knee-jerk reactions of Governments, choosing to bring in Breed specific legislation instead of dealing with the real issue of problem owners. Many more innocent dogs and their owners are constantly under threat of becoming innocent victims.

If your dog is suspected to be an illegal breed by the authorities, it is not their responsibility to prove it is. It is up to you to prove it is NOT. This is often an impossible – and very expensive – task.

You can even end up with a Pit Bull by accident. If you cross something like a boxer and a labrador or a labrador and a mastiff, you end up with a dog that looks like a pit bull.

An example of just one of the many innocent dogs is Lennox, from Belfast in Ireland. This gentle dog was taken from his family and has been held for the last couple of years in a council death row pound. The family are not allowed to see him, or even know where he is held. They fight on in court to save his life, and the case has generated a lot of publicity. Loving Lennox served as a therapy pet for the family’s daughter, and she is especially badly affected by the situation.

**UPDATE**
Lennox has been sentenced to death by an Irish court.

**UPDATE 11/7/2012**

At 7am this morning, Belfast City Council murdered Lennox, an innocent dog who had never done anything wrong.

The heartless council, who ripped this loving pet from the heart of his family’s home & kept him in lonely, isolated conditions for over 2 years, did not even let his devastated family say goodbye.

For anyone not familiar with Lennox’ case, Lennox, like many other innocent dogs that have been murdered by the authorities, is a victim of breed specific legislation (BSL), such as The Dangerous Dog Act (DDA). Brought in in 1991 by the Government, the Act banned certain dog breeds, implying these breeds had the tendency to be dangerous & attack.

Since then, dog attacks have tripled. This is because it was never certain dog breeds that were dangerous, it was, and is, certain types of owners who purposely train dogs to be aggressive. These owners are attracted to dogs they feel have look intimidating, (even though by nature they are extremely gentle).

The Government decided that, rather than trying to hold bad owners responsible and punishing them, it would be easier to murder the main dog breeds that the bad owners were attracted to and training to be aggressive. Despite many of them being gentle, loving family dogs, that have never done anything wrong, if they appear on the dangerous dogs list, they were murdered. This continues to happen every day.

The reason dog attacks have gone up in number is that many of these bad owners have moved from training banned breeds to be aggressive, to doing it with legal breeds instead.

Tragically, there are numerous, less well known, cases like this happening wherever breed specific legislation exists.

Image: Innocent family dog Lennox was seized from his family purely because of his looks. He is on death row in a secret location kept from his family, alone and in a small, cold concrete cell, as this heart breaking photograph shows. He is only still alive after all this time because his family continue to fight in court to save his life. Lennox, and many, many more innocent, non-aggressive dogs suffer like this due to breed specific legislation. Source

f516f600b58578f897a77bcc73f17013

Return To Table Of Contents

Does Breed Specific Legislation Work?

Breed Legislation has been a disaster in the UK and completely ineffective against what it was designed for.
NHS figures showed the number of dog attacks had tripled since 1991, when the Dangerous Dogs Act was brought in and certain dog breeds were made illegal.

Research by the RSPCA has shown that there are now more Pit Bull terriers in the UK than there were when the Dangerous Dogs Act was passed.

David Grant of the RSPCA said: “It’s just a completely out of control situation …[it] is actually worse than before the Act came in.”

The RSPCA has said that The Dangerous Dogs Act needs to be changed to focus instead on owners, but despite the complete failure of BSL in the UK, the UK Government continue to think they know better.

Return To Table Of Contents

Weight Discrimination

The New York Housing Authority bans pets weighing over 25 pounds when fully grown and will confiscate them, so weight discrimination of pets is also in operation. This leads to owners starving dogs that should naturally be over 25 pounds for their size, to get them under the weight limit so their lives can be saved. This is another ban that causes perfectly innocent, gentle dogs to be put to death solely on the basis of what they look like.

Return To Table Of Contents

Strong Parallels To Racism And Genocide

Breed Specific Legislation is completely unjust. A person cannot help but draw a parallel to racism and liken it to genocide.

It causes huge amounts of distress and heartbreak for families who lose a pet they consider to be a member of their family.

The legislation is in operation in many countries and continues to be a constant threat to innocent dogs and their owners everywhere.

Image: BSL Discrimination

2013-06-23_21.39.24_cropped

Return To Table Of Contents

Anti-BSL Organisations And Charities

Enter “End BSL” or “Breed Specific Legislation” into a search engine to find many organisations asking for your help to end the cruel and unfair practise.  Use a fundraising search engine so you can raise funds to help animals while you search.

Get in touch with campaign groups such as End BSL UK on social media, or equivalent groups in your country.

There are numerous Facebook pages and groups you can get involved with, such as:

Occupy BSL

Protect Pit Bulls from BSL

Help Save Bull Breeds in Australia from BSL

Stop BSL Mass

BSL News: What You Can Do to Fight Bully Breedism

BSL Alerts

Support the fight against BSL (Breed Specific Legislation)

AfSD Anti-BSL & Dog Fighting- Advocating Bully Breeds

StopK9Profiling-End BSL

End BSL (Remember Lennox)

Ottawa Citizens against Breed Specific Legislation / BSL

End BSL in Ontario

Stop BSL

END BSL (Saving All Dogs)

Ban the deed, not the Breed

There are also others you can find by entering “BSL” into the search bar. Alternatively, you can enter the name of the breed specific legislation in your country, for example “UK Dangerous Dogs Act”.

Campaigns and petitions are one tool you can use to help end BSL, as well as protests.  Find Other ideas on this site that could help end BSL. Some ideas will help anti-BSL groups raise funds either in a local community or online.

Return To Table Of Contents

Many Other Ways To Help Stop Animal Cruelty

On this site there are many varied ways you can help stop animal cruelty, and there are ways  that will suit everyone, no matter what your personality.

If you would like to learn more about why we so urgently need to help stop animal suffering, please have a look at the Types Of Animal Cruelty section of this site. It will allow you to broaden your knowledge of many different types of animal abuse that happens in the world.

Sadly, what you will find is only the tip of the iceberg, but do not worry, because in the Help Stop Animal Cruelty section of this site, you can find a large and varied choice of ways that you can help stop the suffering. Have a look and see what ways would most suit you.

Help animals further by sharing the ways to stop animal cruelty you learn with other people and on social media. Doing this could mean more people help stop the cruelty, and therefore you are responsible for more animals being saved from suffering.

502864nml0618 copy

Return To Table Of Contents