In an enormous victory for animals and their advocates, South Dakota has recently signed into law bill SB75, which will stop local governments from “enacting, maintaining, or enforcing regulations on certain dog breeds.” In other words: South Dakota has just become the 18th state to ban the passing of breed specific legislation (BSL).
BSL, also known as breed discriminatory legislation (BDL), unfairly targets Pit Bulls, Pit-Bull type dogs, and their caregivers. BSL has resulted in complete bans of “bully breeds” as well as laws that put conditions and restrictions on ownership or require mandatory spay/neuter or liability insurance. It has cost many family pets their lives, and has done very little to curb the underground crimes that are behind peoples’ fears.
”The fact is, a dog’s breed has nothing to do with how the dog behaves. Dog bites are not a breed problem. They’re an owner problem,” says Senator Dan Lederman, who introduced SB75. “This legislation takes the focus off of Petey [from the Little Rascals], and puts it where it belongs, on the owners of pets to be responsible pet owners. It’s part of being a good steward for the animals in our care, and part of being a good neighbor.”
In addition to preventing local governments from passing laws that discriminate against dogs based on breed, SB75 also overturns any previous such laws.
Five other states may soon be joining South Dakota in banning breed specific legislation. Similar bills have already been brought up in Maryland, Missouri, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.