Nanny dogs, meet the nanny state. Now keep apart, you two.
Six states are considering bills that would put an end to laws restricting dog ownership by breed. Called “breed-specific legislation” — or BSL — these laws most often target pit bull type dogs (which are said to have been called “nanny dogs”), often forcing people to choose between their pets and their homes. And most Americans think they’re bad laws. Bad laws!
Opposition to BSL comes from sources as diverse as the American Bar Association, animal rescue groups, the Center for Disease Control and even President Barack Obama, who said in August that the laws are largely ineffective while doing nothing to improve public safety, and are often a “waste of public resources.”
In addition, a recent poll conducted on behalf of the rescue group Best Friends Animal Society found that a big majority in the United States don’t want the government deciding which breeds of dogs we may and may not keep as pets:
A new national survey commissioned by Best Friends Animal Society reveals that 84 percent of those polled believe that local, state or federal governments should not infringe on a person’s right to own whatever breed of dog they choose.This survey, conducted by Luntz Global, is consistent with a growing trend by many state and local governments that have repealed breed discriminatory provisions and enacted behavior-based, breed-neutral dangerous dog laws. Of the 850 polled, 59 percent were dog owners. Only four percent of those polled believed the federal government should dictate what breed of dog a person could own, while six percent supported state government restrictions and 11 percent local government limits.
Seventeen states have already passed laws that stop localities from discriminating against dogs by breed. The six now considering similar prohibitions are Maryland, Vermont, South Dakota, Missouri, Utah and Washington state.
Read more: Huffington Post