Terrifying reality of BSL

This excellent article from Dog News Australia, Jane Harvey. August 2012

On the morning of 12th of March 2012, a migrant family was living peacefully  in their suburban home when the son answered a knock on the front door…….

Download article here….2012 August Dog News Australia – Editorial and article Terrifying Reality of BSL-Copy Rotated




Filed under Breed specific legislation, Victoria

7 responses to “Terrifying reality of BSL

  1. At the risk of provoking a reaction, allow me to say that I support both BSL (albeit not in it’s current form) and the opposing stance of “blame the deed, not the breed”. That said I oppose the heavy-handed, jack-boot style legislation that presently exists in Victoria.
    To explain my position, I believe that that it comes down to the owner of the dog, or to be more specific, the owner of the breed of dog. It is true that any dog can attack another dog, animal or human, however the two things that are equally true are that some owners, by negligence or maltreatment of their pet increase that probability and secondly, some breeds of dog are more dangerous/vicious/aggressive when involved in an attack.
    To use a metaphor, if one was to give a derringer (2 shot) pistol to an irresponsible person, the outcome could be tragic; to give the same person a machine gun would be devastating. Therefore to give a dog with devasting killing power to an irresponsible person, well I think you get my point.
    I have visited (proactive) animal shelters in the southern States of the USA and I have noticed the very high percentage of APBT (Amercian Pit Bull Terriers) in existence. In many cases up to 50% of dogs in the shelter for rehoming are APBT or cross-breeds of APBTs.
    I have come to the conclusion that it is not because the breed is dangerous that it ends up in these shelters, but rather the particular needs of the breed which cannot be met by the previous owners. This breed is quite prevelant in States like California in much the same way that Staffordshire Terriers (Staffies) are popular here. And coincidentally Staffies (and cross-breeds) make up a large percentage of dogs impounded and/or rehomed in pounds and shelters (approx. 30+% in SEQ). Again this tells me that owners of this breed of dog are not aware of the specific needs of the breed and probably have chosen a breed of dog for ‘status’ reasons rather than carefully considering what breed is best for their lifestyle/family etc.
    I believe that for the most part, Americans do understand the breed better than us Aussies because of the prevelance of the breed and years of passive education on the subject.
    Let’s put aside the ‘dog-fighting’ debate about the APBT breed, as that I think has a small but still concerning element to the person acquiring this breed, although ‘status’ is still a concerning element to the reason why some (and I stress ‘some’) would want to own a APBT.
    Therefore to get to my first point, I believe that BSL is needed to restrict the ownership of this breed and other nominated breeds from being in the wrong hands. Therefore perhaps BSL needs to be reconsidered and restructured to focus on the owner not the breed itself.
    In closing, I would recommend that State Governments need to look more closely at regulating the ownership of the specific breeds of dog nominated in current BSL (this could even be expanded to other problematic breeds) by focusing on the owner and the need to ensure that owners must have specific training and understanding of the breed before acquiring. This can be retrospectively applied and if a owner does not come up to scratch and/or is deemed unsuitable then, and only then should the dog be seized and ‘rehomed’ (if suitable).
    Let’s change the focus of BSL onto the owner and not the breed.

    • lesley

      Great thinking Andrew !I couldn’t agree with you more. Humans cause most of the problems for the dog by not understanding them and not treating them properly. I think its about time potential animal purchasers (humans) should be screened for suitability to own a dog. MANY PEOPLE ARE NOT SUITABLE! You need to love animals, be kind,caring and considerate of your pets and also have the ability to “feel” for them eg. be able to tell if they are not their usual self eg, sick, upset, or “out of sorts” they can”t tell us poor little pets.! GIVE ME AN ANIMAL ANYTIME FOR A BEST FRIEND! I LOVE THEM! CAN’T SAY THAT ABOUT HUMANS THOUGH! ANIMALS GIVE YOU SELFLESS LOVE OVER AND OVER I THINK A LOT OF THE TIME ITS THE HUMANS WHO DON’T DESERVE THE ANIMALS!!!

    • Michelle Lynne Mastriana

      YES !!

  2. Great ideas, but how on earth do you practically decide who can have one and who can’t??

    • Andrew Antoniolli

      Whether you like it or not, BSL is here to stay because there is presently no solution to the problem of some people having ownership of these breeds. Therefore in order to get beyond the existing legislation there needs to be some rigorut around a different approach that puts more onus on the owner and not the dog itself. Retrospectively this will be difficult, however over time and into the future it could have good outcomes and not just for the restricted breeds. I am not expert enough to know exactly how to do it, but give it to those qualified to determine the criteria and then we will ultimately have a better educated public and dog owner. I don’t believe it will be that difficult.

  3. companionanimalnews

    Well they have binned BSL in the UK as a failed experiment, why do we have to reinvent the wheel??

  4. Peter Jarvis

    Andrew, Hitlers BSL is no longer and when ignorance and stupidity are pushed aside by facts, education and dedication this ridiculous discriminatory invasion of human and animal rights will disappear also!

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