Breed-specific legislation is a law passed by a legislative body pertaining to a specific breed or breeds of domesticated animals. In practice, it generally refers to laws pertaining to a specific dog breed or breeds.
Some jurisdictions have enacted breed-specific legislation in response to a number of well-publicized incidents involving pit bull-type dogs or other dog breeds commonly used in dog fighting, and some government organizations such as the United States Army and Marine Corps have taken administrative action as well. This legislation ranges from outright bans on the possession of these dogs, to restrictions and conditions on ownership, and often establishes a legal presumption that these dogs are prima facie legally "dangerous" or "vicious." In response, some state-level governments in the United States have prohibited or restricted the ability of municipal governments within those states to enact breed-specific legislation.
It is generally settled in case law that jurisdictions in the United States and Canada have the right to enact breed-specific legislation; however, the appropriateness and effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in preventing dog bite fatalities and injuries is disputed. One point of view is that certain dog breeds are a public safety issue that merits actions such as banning ownership, mandatory spay/neuter for all dogs of these breeds, mandatory microchip implants and liability insurance, or prohibiting people convicted of a felony from owning them. Another point of view is that comprehensive "dog bite" legislation, coupled with better consumer education and legally mandating responsible pet keeping practices, is a better solution than breed-specific legislation to the problem of dangerous dogs.
A third point of view is that breed-specific legislation should not ban breeds entirely, but should strictly regulate the conditions under which specific breeds could be owned, e.g., forbidding certain classes of individuals from owning them, specifying public areas in which they would be prohibited, and establishing conditions, such as requiring a dog to wear a muzzle, for taking dogs from specific breeds into public places. Finally, some governments, such as that of Australia, have forbidden the import of specific breeds and are requiring the spay/neuter of all existing dogs of these breeds in an attempt to eliminate the population slowly through natural attrition.
The pit bull is a breed of dog with a connotation that has been skewed by misrepresentation of evidence and flat out lies. The pit bull has no inherent dangerous characteristics and banning it would make no progress in safety.
First, let's set aside some rumors about pitbulls that make pitbulls seem inherently dangerous.
Pit bulls do not have the strongest jaws of all dog breeds. In fact, out of a study that included a pit bull, a Rottweiler, and a German Shepherd, the pit bull had the weakest jaw. Also, the average domestic dog has a jaw that can force 320 psi of pressure. In this same study the pit bull maxed out at only 235 psi.
Pitbulls do not have locking jaws. The jaws of pit bulls have absolutely no unique locking mechanism and function entirely the same as every other dog breed.
Another myth is that pit bulls attack more than any other breed and that makes them dangerous. I offer the following responses:
First of all, pit bulls are one of the most popular breeds, so it makes sense that the frequency of attacks would correlate in such a manner.
Secondly, pitbulls do not inherently attack more than any other breed. Pit bulls may attack often, but this may just be because they are trained to do so. People buy pit bulls because they want tough dogs that can attack and be violent, so the dogs are trained in a manner that promotes this. However, this quality is not inherent. If pit bulls were banned, dog owners who wanted dogs that could fight would just train another dog breed such as german shepherds to do the same thing. Therefore, banning pit bulls would make no progress. We have to see that pit bulls are not inherently dangerous; they have a connotation of being dangerous so more people who want dangerous dogs train them to be this way. Experts agree that with proper training pit bulls are just as safe as any other dog breed.
Thirdly, just because pit bulls attack more than any other dog doesn't mean that they attack a lot or a dangerous amount of the time. Let's say that the chances of winning the lottery are 1 in 1 billion, and someone buys 5 tickets. They are 5 times more likely to win the lottery than someone who bought only 1 ticket, but are they likely to win the lottery? Their chances are still 5 in 1 billion, or almost nothing. This applies the same way to pit bulls. Even if it was determined that pit bulls were 5 times more likely to attack than any other dogs, that could mean that 5 out of 1 million pit bulls will attack in their lifetime instead of 1 out of 1 million. The point is the evidence that shows pit bulls are more likely to attack than other dogs is misinterpreted to mean that they are likely to attack.
So as we can see, even if pit bulls are more dangerous in today's society, they are not inherently dangerous. They are dangerous because they are purposefully trained as a breed to be dangerous. If pit bulls were banned, another dog breed would be trained to be just as dangerous and no progress in safety would be made. We must as a society stop blaming the dog and start blaming the owner.
We, the undersigned people of Australia and worldwide , call on the AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT to eliminate the current law and legislation in which categorizes the American pitbull and other bull breeds as a dangerous breed.
The SAVE THE AMERICAN PITBULL petition to AUSTRALIAN GOVERMENT was written by nicholas horne and is in the category Animal Rights at GoPetition.