What is Breed-Specific Legislation?

By Chippin Time

What is Breed-Specific Legislation?

Due to last year’s ban in the UK on XL bully dogs, the term Breed-Specific Legislation (or BSL) has been on our feed’s a lot lately. We want to take this moment of attention to share more about what BSL means, the state of BSL in the United States, and how you can help. 

Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL) in the US

In the United States, Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL) varies from state to state and even city to city. BSL typically targets specific breeds, particularly Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers ,Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and more, commonly grouped together as “pit bulls”. These laws often include restrictions or outright bans on ownership, resulting in the unnecessary  euthanasia of countless dogs. Breed-Specific Legislation does not account for dog’s temperament, but rather blanket categorizes dog’s based on their appearance. 

What is a Pit Bull?

It's important to understand that the term "pit bull" is often used as a general description for dogs with certain physical features, such as a strong and muscular build, short coat, and a broad head. It is not a specific breed, and dogs labeled as such typically have diverse genetic backgrounds. Current laws used generic body characteristics to determine a dog’s breed—not genetic testing.

Are Pit Bills Safe?

Pit Bull type dogs, often referred affectionately as "pitties” or “pibbles" are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and affectionate nature. Despite stereotypes, pitties are loving family members with a gentle temperament. They are often great with children, and their versatility makes them excellent therapy dogs. Advocates emphasize that it's the responsibility of owners to nurture these positive traits through proper training, socialization, and care.

What Can You Do to Help?

  1. Advocate for laws and policies that focus on individual behavior rather than specific breeds. Encourage your local lawmakers to consider alternatives to BSL that promote responsible ownership.
  2. Spread awareness about pit bull type dogs by sharing positive stories, dispelling myths, and educating others about responsible ownership. Knowledge can be a powerful tool in changing perceptions. Submit your pittie photos here if you’d like to join our campaign!
  3. Volunteer and donate to shelters and rescue organizations that work towards the welfare of pit bull type dogs. Volunteering time or donating resources can make a significant impact on their lives. Donating blankets, towels, food or healthy dog treats is a great way to get started.
  4. Adopt a pit bull type dog from a reputable shelter or rescue organization. By giving these dogs a loving home, you contribute to breaking stereotypes and providing them with a chance for a better life.

As we navigate the complexities and emotions surrounding Breed-Specific Legislation, it's crucial to focus on compassion, understanding, and proactive measures to ensure the well-being of these beautiful souls. Together, we can work towards a future where all dogs, regardless of their breed, are treated with the care and respect they deserve.

Chippin is a woman-owned business creating a more humane & sustainable pet food system.

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