Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Massacre of the Innocents: Let's Put A Ban On Breed Specific Bans!

gen·o·cide: the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.

Wait a minute, Jana, this applies to humans only...
Does it now? So it is OK to do it to other species?

Mo matter how you slice it, mankind is a destructive force. Depending on which source you go by, present rate of extinction is a high as 3 species per hour. We destroy other species, we destroy each other, we destroy ourselves.

Not always on purpose; but often so.

Throughout history—starting with Cain—it's been how we tend to solve our problems. But does it really solve them?

Breed-specific legislation is a law or ordinance passed by a legislative body pertaining to a specific breed or breeds of domesticated animals. In practice, it generally refers to laws or ordinances pertaining to a specific dog breed or breeds.

Legal jargon is amazing, isn't it? Almost makes it sound like something good.

What Cain didn't realize—Abel was not the source of his problem at all. What we don't seem to realize—the dogs aren't the problem either.

A guy is walking up and down the street, staring intently at the ground. Another guy sees him and gets curious:
“Are you looking for something?”
“Yes,” he replies, “I lost my wedding ring. I have to find it or else I can't show up at home.”
“And here is where you lost it?”
“No, it was in the alleyway over there.”
“Well, if you lost it there, why are you looking here then?”
“Because this street is better lit.”

Is it really a surprise that a solution that doesn't address the real cause of a problem doesn't work?

What has BSL brought so far? Has the legislation decreased the incidence of dog bites? Or has it only led to slaughter and abuse of innocent dogs?

Let's take a look at Denmark example.

Denmark has one of the most strict dog breed bans in the world. 12 breeds are already banned and 13 more are lined up, making a total of 25 breeds to be banned in the near future. This will make Denmark the country with most breeds banned in the world. There is no indication 25 breeds is the final number.

The currently banned breeds are:
  • Pitbull terrier
  • Tosa inu
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Dogo Argentino
  • American Bulldog
  • Boerboel
  • Kangal
  • Central Asian ovtcharka
  • Caucasian ovtcharka
  • South Russian ovtcharka
  • Tornjak
  • Sarplaninac
Breeds under observation, and possibly banned in the near future:
  • Anatolian Shepherd Dog 
  • Bull Mastiff 
  • Cane corso italiano 
  • Cao fila de Sao Miguel 
  • Dogo canario 
  • Ibero mastiff 
  • Maremma 
  • Mastin espanol 
  • Mastino napoletano 
  • Polski Owczarek podhalanski 
  • Rottweiler 
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The list, according to the Justice Department, can later be expanded to more breeds.

And yet, statistics are showing that, one year after the implementation of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in Denmark, the dog bite incidents have increased!

According to the report published by the Danish association Fair Dog, the number of dog bite incidents measured before and after the BSL was implemented, increased by 26%!

More importantly to me, the dog bite incidents involving the now banned breeds were no more than 6.5% of all dog bites to start out with!

What BSL did do is dogs being euthanized, or worse, dropped in the woods and abandoned to die horrible deaths!

Together with the people of Be The Change for Animals (BTC), we started a petition to tell Denmark to stop banning breeds. There is a Danish petition with over 11,000 signatures already. Finally, one in English for the rest of the world to speak up. Please sign the petition, and pass it on to your friends:

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

Tomorrow it could be your dog!

For more information on Danish BSL please visit Kenzo the Hovawart blog.

Further reading:
The face of a breed ban: make your voice heard
Dog bite incidents increase: BSL has no effect
Open letter about BSL was answered ... was it?
Danish breed ban rests on historically thin basis
A week of discussing breed bans without facts
Open letter to Merete Eldrup
How BSL can bring a whole country into madness
BSL up close and personal 
Pitbull massacre needs to be stopped (warning: saddening photos) 


  1. Thanks Jana, for putting focus on the horrible situation in Denmark and featuring the petition. It is heartwarming with all the international support. And a great reminder that the love for dogs of the pet blogging community doesn't stop at the border.

  2. Thanks Jana, for this post. Vancouver Washington is about to take up BSL in August, this information will defiantly be useful in our attempt to stop the legislation.

  3. Hear, hear, Jana! Great post.

  4. Well said. I've already signed the petition, but enjoyed reading your take on the subject matter.

  5. Thank you guys, just trying to do my part :-)

  6. Truly amazing that anyone could think that this is the answer ;( I hope many more people sign the petition.

  7. Hi Julie. Well, unfortunately we are a species who want quick and easy solutions to everything. Hopefully we'll learn that those don't always work - soon!

  8. I wish I had words for this post, but I really don't. People and their law making just keeps getting more and more ridiculous when it comes to our canine companions....and they don't have a clue.

  9. Hi JJ, yes, I agree. Very sad, very stupid. :-(

  10. What an awful picture. Breaks my heart this goes on!


  11. We were just talking about this recently on "Dogs And Tails". It's something that has bothered me for quite some time. Here in the United States, BSL is growing and, well, it's BS.

    Even when states do not adopt BSL, there are residential communities banning certain breeds. I've seen this on rental properties and HOA-governed homes alike. It's crazy talk.

    Let's face it: I can train a chihuahua to be a vicious killer but, since it won't look as intimidating, no one will raise a stink about it. Does that make sense to anyone? Me neither.

    I'm glad you mentioned what is going on over in Denmark. Hopefully, this opens some eyes. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the regulation should start with breeders and adoption agencies. Educate pet owners to train dogs properly so they do not retaliate or show aggressive behavior of any kind.

    My dog, Lylah, is an American Bulldog and she is the sweetest thing possible. In fact, as I type here, she is whining because she wants me to play with her and show her some TLC. I've actually known many small dog breeds that were more vicious than any medium or large dog breed I've ever known. I don't see anyone suggesting there be a ban on Yorkies or Poodles.

    It's this sort of blanket legislation that makes me a very sad panda. You simply can't force a one-size-fits-all fix on things that have such a huge impact. Bah...

    ...And that image makes me choke up.. That's terrible. I hate that there is a double standard when it comes to animals. I mean, I don't see people doing mass genocide for "troublesome humans". Allowing this can only open the door to more atrocities!

  12. Hi Yogizilla, thank you for stopping by! It is just very sad and disturbing. And it does not address the real problem.

    Granted, a Chihuahua won't do as much damage as a larger dog, no matter how nasty they would get. But eliminating all dogs that are big or strong enough to do any damage? That's what it would have to boil down to. And where would it end?

    There are other animals that can bite and cause damage also.

    Interestingly, rattle snakes, for example, can do a lot of damage too and yet they are protected species (at least up here) and people are not allowed to kill them.

    Bottom line is, the dogs are not the problem and therefore the solution doesn't lay with them either.

    Got help anybody who'd try to touch my dogs! They are Rottweilers. And they are sweet and loving and gentle.

  13. I love rottweilers! My cousin has one named Brownie. He's a real charmer. He also thinks he's a lap dog. It's endearing.

    This topic resonates so much with me that I even blogged about it on a site I just resurrected, just because readers are still going there.. I know people will spread the word.

    Keep up the great work, Jana!

  14. Thank you for helping spread the word! People need to wake up and address the real problem.

    Our guys ARE lap dogs LOL

  15. Yes having owned a Rottweiler for 12 years the big issue I see is many people do not understand how to be good owners to large breeds.

    If you do not know your breed, if you do not know how to be a responsible owner of a large breed then do not get them.

    Not the dogs fault you try to treat them like kids. They need to know you are ALPHA. Dogs are pack animals and I am amazed how many times folks get dogs and they are clueless to animal behaviors.

    Should be required to have human training chuckle.

  16. Hi Michele, yes, the problem largely lies with owners, though they're not the only ones to blame. I find it amazing, that after all the time sharing our lives with dogs we in general still know so little about them!

    The ALPHA concept is presently being debunked ... either way though, it's about respect and rules - for both parties.

  17. Hi Jana, this picture is truly heartbreaking!! Anyone trying to touch my Precious will have to kill me first!! Rottweilers and other big breed dog have a bad name because a lot of irresponsible owners and breeders chose to bring them up as vicious, some of these people have used the strength of these dogs for dog fights, they see their dogs as a huge income through gambling in these fights. Most of these dogs are killed if not during the fight after losing a fight by the same owner!!
    How many times do we hear of dog accidents? and why is it that these nasty stories make the impact?
    How many children are sexually or physically abused, maltreated or neglected?... Does the state try to eliminate this breed of human society? What about serial killers, pedophiles,putting children into sex trade and human trafficking?
    I honestly think these people are the real threat to all human society and not the big dog breeds.
    I love my Rottweiler as if he was my child and I treat him as one of my children. I am not strict with him but as u say Jana it's about rules and respect. Precious gives all of us unconditional love and protects us with his life...being a rottweiler hasn't stopped that!!

    Hugs Marthese in Malta

  18. Hi Marthese, I share the same sentiment. That's why we need to speak up.