Banning specific dog breeds or focusing on responsible dog ownership?

Nathan Winograd has been strongly arguing for some time now that it is immoral and ineffective to ban certain dog breeds and instead the focus should be on dog caregiving and ensuring that it is responsible so that individual dogs behave in an acceptable way.

Pitbull dog
Pitbull dog

Link to Nathan Winograd’s website

He has run a very effective campaign. He argues that many pit-bull type dogs are killed at animal shelters and pounds across the USA when they shouldn’t be.

He tells me that Iowa’s lawmakers have overwhelmingly passed a bill prohibiting local authorities from banning specific dog breeds and targeting them for extermination.

The proposed law (a bill) will encourage local authorities to “instead focus their ordinances on responsible dog ownership”.

Florida is doing something similar. Florida’s lawmakers have agreed a law which would remove restrictions including public housing restrictions on specific dog breeds, most commonly pit-bull terriers. The proposed law now goes to the Florida House where, if agreed, it would be passed into law when signed off by the governor.

Both these US states have a different opinion about dangerous dogs compared to the UK. In the UK, the law still states that it is against the law to certain types of dog and four dog breeds are specified namely:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro

However, the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in the UK, is highly problematic and there have been many examples of problems regarding this law. It’s a law which is constantly debated which, in my opinion, supports the thoughts of Nathan Winograd and supports the new laws passing through the legislatures of Florida and Iowa.

Specifically, Nathan Winograd states that “50% of dogs labelled as pit bulls lacked DNA breed signatures of breeds commonly classified as pit bulls”.

And he also tells us that “dogs targeted for breed discriminatory laws are not more likely to bite, do not bite harder, and such bans do not result in fewer dog bites or bite-related hospitalisation rates”.

Finally, he says that trying to enforce these ineffective laws is expensive and there is no “measurable impact on public safety”. He says:

Bans also negatively impact surrounding communities and rescue groups, which have to take on the burden of such regressive and selfish policies to save the lives of these dogs.

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