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Attacking the Innocent: Why Breed Specific Legislation Cannot Achieve its Stated Goals

By Shaw Smith Williams

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Abstract

The term “Breed-specific legislation”, or “BSL”, is a term in United States and foreign law which refers to any law that focuses on the regulation of a particular breed of animal. As one can imagine, there are a multitude of incarnations of BSL at the municipal and state government levels of the United States and even at national levels in some foreign countries. These laws generally seek to promote the proper care and control of various breeds of animals in an effort to prevent risks to both human and animal health and safety.
BSL attempts to address the human safety issue of dog-bites and vicious attacks on humans by singling out breeds as inherently vicious or problematic and imposing regulations on only certain breeds in an attempt to protect the general welfare of society. It has been embraced by some communities, shunned by others, and strongly opposed by a number of dog owners and canine interest organizations. The promulgation and implementation of laws that ban specific
breeds from a state or municipality have become hotly debated topics, both in town hall meetings and in courts, and a number of Constitutional law issues have been at the forefront of the debate.

Submitter

Katie Carroll

Date 2013
Publication Title Law School Student Scholarship
Publisher Seton Hall Law
URL http://scholarship.shu.edu/student_scholarship/327/
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal roles
  2. Animals in culture
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Breeds
  5. Dogs
  6. Ethics
  7. Goals
  8. Law and legal issues
  9. Laws and regulations
  10. Legislation
  11. Mammals
  12. Pets and companion animals