"Please help us save the dogs."
EBA's Official Positon on Issues
We strongly urge municipalities to adopt non-breed-specific legislation which will thoroughly protect citizens.
Banning specific breeds to control dog bite injuries ignores the scope of the problem and will not protect a community's citizens. Breed bans assume all dogs of a specific breed are likely to bite, instead of acknowledging that most dogs are not a problem. These laws rarely address or assign appropriate responsibilities to owners.
According to American Veterinary Medical Association, statistics on injuries caused by dogs are often used to demonstrate the "dangerousness" of particular breeds. Such arguments are seriously flawed as it is not possible to calculate a bite rate for a breed or to compare rates between breeds because:
1 - the breed of a biting dog is often not known or is inaccurately reported;
2 - the actual number of bites that occur in a community is not known, especially if they did not result in serious injury;
3 - the number of dogs of a particular breed or combination of breeds in a community is not known because it is rare for all dogs in a community to be licensed;
4 - statistics often do not consider multiple incidents caused by a single animal;
5 - breed popularity changes over time, making comparison of breed-specific bite rates unreliable.
Breed data likely vary between communities, states, or regions, and can even vary between neighborhoods within communities.
Breed-specific ordinances also raise constitutional questions concerning dog owners' 14th amendment rights. Because all types of dogs may inflict injury, ordinances addressing particular breeds can be under inclusive and violate equal protection. Because identification of a dog's breed with certainty is prohibitively difficult, such ordinances may also be considered vague and violate due process.
AVMA reports a dog's tendency to bite depends on at least six interacting factors: heredity, early experience, socialization and training, physical and behavioral health, victim behavior, and environment. Banning specific breeds may give owners of other breeds a false sense of security and decrease their desire to seek appropriate socialization and training for their pets.
Endangered Breeds Association recommends:
1 - enforcement of generic, non-breed-specific dangerous dog laws with emphasis on irresponsible owners;
2 - enforcement of animal control ordinances such as leash laws;
3 - school-based and adult education programs that teach pet selection strategies, pet care, responsibility and bite prevention.
Endangered Breeds Association
4600 SW Hickory Lane
Blue Springs, MO 64015