Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is any law, ordinance or policy
which pertains to a specifically named
breed or breeds, but
does not affect any others.
Some examples of BSL:
- Restrictions on or the prohibition of ownership of
American Pit Bull Terriers in some municipalities of the
the Federal ban on importing them into Australia.
- Restrictions on the availability of
homeowners insurance for owners of many breeds, including
American Pit Bull Terriers,
Akitas, etc., in
some areas of the United States.
- Proposed legislation in some Australian states that would prohibit the
breeding of any breed of dog not recognized by the
Australian National Kennel Council, or restrict or prohibit the
propagation of some breeds.
- Bans on the transporting of some breeds by some
during the 1990s
- Prohibition of ownership of the
in some municipalities in
- A ban on the importing of the
German Shepherd Dog into Australia for a large part of the
- The requirement that
muzzles in public in some Australian states
Pros and cons
Proponents of BSL usually cite the need to protect the public from dog breeds
believed to have inherent tendencies to aggressive behaviour. Others believe
that BSL will help eliminate irresponsible dog breeding, and thereby reduce the
number of unwanted dogs, particularly
Opponents of such legislation believe that instances of bad dog behaviour are
an issue of irresponsible human ownership rather than inherent dog nature. Some
also believe that media sensationalism has made the problem seem worse than it
really is. They point out that some of these policies have been randomly or
illogically thought out, and are often implemented and enforced capriciously or
inconsistently. In their view, an alternative to Breed Specific Legislation
might be the consistent enforcement of existing dog laws, or the creation of new
breed-wide regulations or requirements where needed.
The owners of breeds not affiliated with all-breed clubs, and the owners of
breeds in development are concerned about BSL that affects breeding.
In September 2005 the government of the Australian state of
Victoria announced proposed changes to the Domestic (Feral and Nuisance)
Animals Act 1994, to be implemented by the current session of the Victorian
parliament. The proposed laws include the mandatory desexing of any dog
belonging to a restricted breed, or any dog that is declared dangerous. The
legislation follows laws of the 1990s banning the importation of restricted
breeds into Victoria; the new laws will in effect spell the end of the existence
of certain breeds in that state. Breeds affected by the ban include
American Pit Bull Terriers and
Pit Bulls, (although it
is not yet clear what other breeds may be covered by the appellation (Pit
Bull”), Japanese Tosas,
Argentinean fighting dogs and Brazilian fighting dogs.
In Germany, four breeds may not be imported except for short term visits:
Pitbull, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bullterrier and Staffordshire
Bullterrier. Breeding and possesion of particular dog breeds is forbidden in
some Federal States (Bundesländer). Three Länder (States) do not have
breed-specific legislation, the other 13 Länder have listed between 3 and 18
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasseliste (in German language).
In Switzerland, breed-specific legislation is being discussed since December,
- The Age, September 4, 2005, Crackdown on dangerous dogs
- Adam Morton in The Age, September 5, 2005, War on terrier given teeth
as the law gets tough
| Animal Control
| Breed-Specific Legislation
| Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
| Diane Whipple
| Dog Fighting
| Dog Licence
| Pet Passport
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