PHILADELPHIA, PA, September 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- National child and animal welfare advocate Dr. Robin Ganzert
says breed-specific legislation, or BSL, in all reality simply does not work to effectively reduce dog bites. Instead, it discriminates against dog breeds based upon stereotypes and assumptions about their dispositions while completely disregarding the fact that, like people, canines have individual personalities and are, largely, shaped by the environment in which they are raised. But a recent announcement by President Obama has given Ganzert and others who oppose BSL hope.
According to TIME
, President Obama has voluntarily spoken out about his opposition to BSL. In a statement
released by the White House, the President's administration cites research from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support its stance that BSL is not the solution to dog bite concerns: "We don't support breed-specific legislation--research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources [...] [The CDC] found that fatal attacks [listed in dog bite and human fatality data] represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it's virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds."
Instead of banning breeds, the White House suggests taking the CDC's recommendation of "a community-based approach to prevent dog bites" seriously. Robin Ganzert asserts that this is a more promising solution, due to the fact that dogs are often products of their environment and the method in which they are trained and raised.
"In addition to adopting a new dog this week, President Obama has come out in opposition of BSL, and we at American Humane Association are ecstatic about the news," Ganzert
comments. "BSL is unjust, ineffective, and simply discriminatory toward certain breeds, and we believe that this kind of legislation will only serve to hurt dogs and the owners who love them, rather than decrease dog bites and associated fatalities. Limiting situations in which dogs feel threatened involves educating children about dogs and enforcing effective animal control laws. Statistically speaking, children are at the highest risk for dog bites. Education can go a long way in decreasing dog bite incidents."
In addition to education and law enforcement, Ganzert asserts that spaying and neutering can help reduce dog bites due to the fact that animals that are not altered are more likely to act out aggressively. Furthermore, more accurate and consistent reporting of dog bite situations can help researchers better understand the variables that trigger an aggressive response in dogs and create programs that can improve public safety. With the incomplete data that researchers currently have, they cannot create a comprehensive understanding of the factors that can spark a dog bite.
Robin Ganzert applauds the President for speaking out about this issue and encourages others to contact their representatives in opposition of BSL.
President and CEO of American Humane Association, Robin Ganzert works to improve the welfare of animals and children in need on a daily basis. Through her efforts she strives to promote the benefits of the strong relationships that are established between humans and animals.