Dog Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in Florida - Can Still Be Stopped

Florida House Bill 189 (HB 189) is currently in the Agriculture & Natural Resources Policy Committee. It would eliminate the ban on municipalities passing breed specific legislation (BSL). You can view the proposed legislation and progress here. It would amend this Florida Statute - 767.14. Basically it supports blaming breeds, in general, not specific owners or dogs.

According to the ASPCA website, banning specific breeds does not in itself lessen the number of dog bites or increase public safety where breed neutral laws do. Breed specific legislation is dog discrimination. Increased education on breed types before adoption and continued education through pet and human training are the only things that will protect the public from dogs that cannot socialize well. The ASPCA seeks effective enforcement of breed-neutral laws that hold dog owners accountable for the actions of their animals. They mention online the following that can limit dog aggression or bites.
  • More than 70 percent of all dog bite cases involve unneutered male dogs
  • An unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than is a neutered dog.
  • A chained or tethered dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite than a dog who is not chained or tethered.
  • 97 percent of dogs involved in fatal dog attacks in 2006 were not spayed/neutered:
  • 78 percent were maintained not as pets, but rather for guarding, image enhancement, fighting or breeding.
  • 84 percent were maintained by reckless owners—these dogs were abused or neglected, not humanely controlled or contained, or allowed to interact with children unsupervised.
You can use the distribution list in the below, if you want, to send e-mail.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
Here's the physical location: 317 House Office Building, 402 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300, Phone: (850) 488-5465.
Please take the time to write and keep the ban on breed specific legislation in place. Below is a letter that you can use.
Subject: HB 189

Dear Agriculture & Natural Resources Policy Committee Members,
I am asking that you vote against HB 189 so the current state-wide prohibition against municipalities passing breed specific legislation remains in place. Breed specific legislation does not prevent the problems for which it is implemented and you have been responsible enough to recognize that. Thank you. However, not all municipalities will be a forward-thinking. Your vote against HB 189, will ensure the prohibition remains.


Marilyn said...

Breed specific legislation doesn't work. Training does. Please oppose these Bills: FL House Bill 189 and FL Senate Bill 372

From the CDC link below - Although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates. Because of difficulties inherent in determining a dog’s breed with certainty, enforcement of breed-specific ordinances raises constitutional and practical issues. Fatal attacks represent a small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans and, therefore, should not be the primary factor driving public policy concerning dangerous dogs. Many practical alternatives to breed-specific ordinances exist and hold promise for prevention of dog bites. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:836–840)





Animal Farm Foundation

Dogs Bite: But Balloons and Slippers Are More Dangerous by Janis Bradley (book)
Analysis of dog bites and bite statistics.

Marilyn Wolf, BS, CPDT
Pet Trainer & Behavior Consultant
New Port Richey, FL