Bad for Dogs, Bad for Communities
Breed-Discriminatory Laws (BDL) are:
- Laws that prohibit or restrict dogs based on their supposed breed.
- Today, most BDL often targets “pit bull terriers.”
What’s wrong with BDL?
- BDL simply doesn’t work. Experts and studies have proven that BDL doesn’t make communities safer and wastes taxpayer dollars.
- A comprehensive review of studies by the American Veterinary Medical Association concluded BDL didn’t reduce dog bites.
- BDL in Prince George’s County, Maryland has failed to reduce dog bites and costs the county tens of thousands of dollars annually.
- BDL has failed in the United States, Spain, and the U.K.,
- There are no studies finding that BDL does work.
- Breed-neutral, responsible pet ownership laws are the only effective way to reduce dog bites and make communities safer. These laws focus on the owner, not a dog’s physical appearance.
- Virtually all animal protection groups oppose BDL.
- But it’s not just about concern for pit bull terriers, non-animal welfare groups also oppose BDL including the American Bar Association, the Center for Disease Control, and the Obama Administration.
“There is no evidence that breed-specific bans reduce the rate or severity of bite injuries.”
– The American Veterinary Medical Association
 Duffy D, Yuying H, Serpell J. Breed differences in canine aggression. Appl Anim Behav Sci 2008: 114 3: 441-460
 Ott, S.A., Schalke, E., von Gaertner A., Hackbarth, H., & Mittmann, A. (2008). Is there a difference? Comparison of golden retrievers and dogs affected by breed-specific legislation regarding aggressive behavior. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 3(3): 134-140.
 B. Rosado et al., Spanish: Dangerous Animals Act: Effect of the Epidemiology of Dog Bites, 2(5)JOURNAL OF VETERINARY BEHAVIOR 166-74 (2007).
 B. Klaassen, J.R. Buckley & A. Esmail, Does the Dangerous Dog Act Protect Against Animal Attacks: A Prospective Study of Mammalian Bites in the Accident and Emergency Department, 27(2) INJURY 89-91 (1996)
 American Veterinary Medical Association: Animal Welfare Division. (2015). Dog Bite Risk and Prevention: The Role of Breed.