Legislation Against Pit Bulls Should Not Be Enacted

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What words come to mind when one hears the words “pit bull?” How about aggressive, violent, or dangerous? In many cases, this isn’t actually true. Because of the negative media attention for attacks on humans and other dogs that pit bull breeds receive, many Americans place a stigma on pit bulls, tagging them as dangerous and vicious. This stigma typically applies to all pit bulls, not just the ones that are actually dangerous. To remedy the issue of dangerous dogs attacking other beings, the legislative act known as breed-specific legislation is being debated throughout the United States. Gary J. Patronek, a veterinary doctor, defines breed-specific legislation as a law than “bans, restricts, or imposes conditions on ownership of specific breeds or dogs presumed to pose greater risk of biting people” (788). Breed-specific legislation is commonly debated in communities that have recently experienced a dog-bite related injury or fatality (Patronek, Slater, and Marder 788). However, this law would ban all dogs of the pit bull breed or any related dog based solely on their breed, rather than disposition. Therefore, breed-specific legislation should not be enacted throughout the United States because is biased against pit bulls and is ineffective in reducing dog-bite attacks by ignoring other aggressive dog breeds.

Many people associate a negative connotation with the dog breed “pit bull.” These dogs are thought to be dangerous and problematic. However, much of this can be attributed to the mass amounts of negative media attention that pit bull breeds receive as opposed to other breeds of dogs that can be just as dangerous. For example, The National Canine Research Council did a four-day study on dog-bite repo...

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Patronek, Gary J., Margaret Slater, and Amy Marder. “Use of a number-needed-to-ban

calculation to illustrate limitations of breed-specific legislation and decreasing the risk of dog bite-related injury.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 237.7 (2010): 788-792.

“Pit Bull Bias in the Media.” ASPCA. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 2012. Web.

Sacks, Jeffrey J., Leslie Sinclair, Julie Gilchrist, Gail C. Golab, and Randall Lockwood. “Breed of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 217.6 (2000): 836-840.

Twining, Hillary, Arnold Arluke, and Gary Patronek. "Managing The Stigma Of Outlaw

Breeds: A Case Study Of Pit Bull Owners." Society & Animals: Journal Of Human-Animal Studies 8.1 (2000): 25-52.
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