The available studies on breed specific legislation
all lead to the same conclusion.... dog bites do not decrease in communities where breed bans and/or regulations
have been passed. In fact, the statistics related to dog bites remain at relatively the same rate year after year. If
the goal of breed specific legislation is to reduce and prevent injury from dog bites - yet dog bites continue
to occur at comparable rates year after year, even in communities with BSL - it is quite clear that breed
specific legislation does little to protect the public from dog bites. The below studies do an excellent job at
illustrating the ineffectiveness of breed specific laws.
You can access the studies and
reports where available by clicking the highlighted text.
In 1996, a Scottish study entitled
"Does the Dangerous Dogs Act Protect Against Animal Attacks" looked at the three month period before the implementation
of BSL and the three month period after said implementation. The study found that the banned or regulated breeds contributed
to only a small percentage of attacks. The study further revealed that Alsatians and mongrels (mixed breed dogs)
were the most common breed involved (in 24.2% and 18.2% attacks, respectively), while the restricted breeds accounted
for only 6.1% of the attacks.
In September 2002, the
Administrative Court of Berlin ruled null and void the government of Lower Saxony,
Germany's breed specific law related to 14 breeds of dogs. This ruling was based, in part, by a study by Esther Schalke, PhD, DVM, which demonstrated that
breed specific legislation was ineffective.
In June 2008, the Netherlands repealed a 15 year ban
on pit bulls after research proved that it did not improve public safety and dog bite incidents did not decrease.
In March 2009, Italy repealed its long-standing breed
specific law in which 17 dogs were identified as "dangerous breeds." The breed ban was replaced with a law making owners
more responsible for their pet's training and behavior.
In June 2008, a report regarding
the United Kingdom's Dangerous Dog Act of 1991 was issued. According to the report commissioned by pet insurer LV, the number of people hospitalised for dog attacks
has increased by almost 50% in the past decade -- this is despite having breed specific legislation in place since 1991.
In 2007, a Spanish study compared dog bites reported to the health department
of Aragon, Spain for 5 years before and 5 years after the implementation of breed specific legislation in the form of
a Dangerous Dog Act. The Spanish study concluded, among other things, that there was no change in the number of
dog bites reported, and that the restricted breeds, were responsible for less than 4% of the reported bites both before
and after the BSL took effect.
A 2006 Australian study entitiled Breed-specific
legislation and the pit bull terrier: Are the laws justified? concluded that the data
collected in the United States to support the theory that pit bulls posed a unique danger to the public is
flawed by methodological shortcomings. The study also concluded that the evidence does not sustain the view that pit
bulls are a uniquely dangerous breed, and breed-specific laws aimed to control it have not been demonstrated by authorities
to be justified by its attack record.
In addition to the above countries that have repealed breed specific
legislation, many cities in the United States have repealed BSL, as well. A detailed listing of communities
that have repealed or decided against implementing BSL can be found at www.understand-a-bull.com.