Dangerous dog legislation serves to protect the public from dogs
who are deemed dangerous based on a history of biting or
aggression. Dangerous temperament is a product of many
factors and is not determined by breed alone.
Some people think that specific breeds - like pit bulls - are
more likely to be aggressive and cause injury. This has
resulted in calls for Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) where
certain breeds are muzzled, restricted or banned based on their
Banning a particular dog is a reactionary measure with no
positive effects. Dogs are judged not based on their actions
but based on their DNA. Dogs are left wearing the blame of
irresponsible dog ownership.
Late in 2012 The City of Edmonton joined the list of progressive
jurisdictions that are throwing out Breed Specific
Legislation. An amendment was passed at City Council
eliminating the BSL from Edmonton's Animal Control Bylaw.
For the first time since 1987, dogs like Symbol and Tuna are
seen as equal in the eyes of the law.
In amending the bylaw, The City of Edmonton held public
consultations and looked to other cities where no BSL exists.
These cities showed that there was no benefit or increase in public
safety by targeting breeds. Further, they estimated that less
than half of the animals that would be considered restricted under
BSL were simply not registered because of the higher cost of
licensing and insurance.
Edmonton's new bylaw outlines that restricted dogs are those
that have chased, attacked or bitten people in past or have a
propensity toward chasing people or other animals. With the
new bylaw, responsibility is put on dog owners to keep their dog,
whatever its breed, in line.
Through education we can stop dog