Q: What is breed-specific legislation?
A: Breed-specific legislation (BSL), also referred to as breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL), is a law or ordinance that prohibits or restricts the keeping of dogs of specific breeds, dogs presumed to be specific breeds, mixes of specific breeds, and/or dogs presumed to be mixes of one or more of those breeds. The most drastic form of BSL is a complete ban; but BSL also includes any laws or governmental regulations that impose separate requirements or limitations, including but not limited to: mandatory spay-neuter, mandatory muzzling, liability insurance requirements, special licensing and additional fees, mandatory microchipping or tattoos, owner / walker age requirements, property posting requirements, confinement and leash requirements, breed-specific pet limits, sale or transfer notification requirements, restrictions on access to certain public spaces with the dog [e.g.: public parks, school grounds], required town-issued items [e.g.: fluorescent collar; vest], training requirements, requirement that photos of the dog and/or owner be kept on town file. BSL, in all of its forms, results in the destruction of many pet dogs. -
Q: What breeds of dogs have been targeted by BSL?
A: Various breeds have been or currently are targeted by BSL. Until the law was repealed in 2009, Italy regulated the keeping of 17 breeds. In the United States, jurisdictions have either banned or put discriminatory restrictions on one or all of the following: Akita, “Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs”, Alaskan Malamute, “American Bandogge”, American Bulldog, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Belgian Malinois, Bullmastiff, Bull Terrier, Cane Corso, Chihuahua, Chow Chow, Dalmatian, Doberman Pinscher, Dogo Argentino, “Fila Brasileiro”, German Shepherd Dog, Miniature Bull Terrier, Neapolitan Mastiff, "Pit bull" (please note that "pit bull" is not a breed of dog), Perro de Presa Canario, Rottweiler, Shar Pei, Siberian Husky, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, “Tosa Inu”, and wolf-hybrids. These ordinances also target dogs suspected of being mixes of one or more of the named breeds. -