Don't Bully My Breed

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Dangerous dog legislation serves to protect the public from dogs who are deemed dangerous based on a history of biting or aggression.  Dangerous temperament is a product of many factors and is not determined by breed alone. 

Some people think that specific breeds - like pit bulls - are more likely to be aggressive and cause injury.  This has resulted in calls for Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) where certain breeds are muzzled, restricted or banned based on their DNA. 

Banning a particular dog is a reactionary measure with no positive effects.  Dogs are judged not based on their actions but based on their DNA.  Dogs are left wearing the blame of irresponsible dog ownership. 

Late in 2012 The City of Edmonton joined the list of progressive jurisdictions that are throwing out Breed Specific Legislation.  An amendment was passed at City Council eliminating the BSL from Edmonton's Animal Control Bylaw. 

For the first time since 1987, dogs like Symbol and Tuna are seen as equal in the eyes of the law. 

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In amending the bylaw, The City of Edmonton held public consultations and looked to other cities where no BSL exists.  These cities showed that there was no benefit or increase in public safety by targeting breeds.  Further, they estimated that less than half of the animals that would be considered restricted under BSL were simply not registered because of the higher cost of licensing and insurance.

Edmonton's new bylaw outlines that restricted dogs are those that have chased, attacked or bitten people in past or have a propensity toward chasing people or other animals.  With the new bylaw, responsibility is put on dog owners to keep their dog, whatever its breed, in line. 

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Through education we can stop dog discrimination.  

Written by hart at 00:00
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