Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Injustice of Breed-Specific Legislation

I hadn't heard about the plight of Lennox, an American bulldog-Labrador cross, living in Belfast, Ireland until it was already too late. This pup was seized from his family two years ago under the UK’s dangerous dog act which prohibits outright the ownership of "bully" breeds such as pitbulls. The Belfast city council took custody of Lennox after determining he was a "possible pitbull type" and thus presumably a threat to the community at large; this despite the fact he was a charming dog, had a perfectly clean record, and his family had taken every precaution to ensure he was never a threat. After two years of wrangling the council had Lennox euthanized today despite public outcry and offers for alternative courses of action.

Pitbulls have long gotten a bad rap and my heart goes out to the Barnes family for their loss. I think Victoria Stilwell, host of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog,” said it best when she wrote, "We must target the deed not the breed...We must hold irresponsible pet owners accountable. Dogs of any breed can be fantastic, and dogs of any breed can be dangerous. Breed-specific law is flawed; it just doesn’t work."

1 comment:

  1. all the pits i've met, and i've met quite a few, were sweet and loving family pets whose only act of physical assertiveness was "D'awwww"-ing. anti-pitbull legislation is alive and kicking in the US as well, state by state. it's utterly ridiculous.