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Legislative Update: Numerous States Considering Prohibiting BSL

(Wednesday, February 05, 2014)
The AKC Government Relations Department is pleased that several legislatures are looking to protect dogs and dog owners by joining the growing list of states that prohibit breed-specific laws.

Those who reside or participate in dog events in these states are encouraged to contact the state legislature and ask them to support these measures. For talking points, visit the AKC Government Relations Toolbox and BSL Issue Analysis, Why Breed-Specific Legislation Doesn’t Work.

State bills currently pending include:

GeorgiaHouse Bill 409, which was carried over from the 2013 session, would among other provisions prohibit counties, municipalities and local authorities from banning the sale or ownership of any specific breed of dog.

MarylandHouse Bill 422 states that a dog may not be declared potentially dangerous based solely on the dog’s “breed, type or heritage” and prohibits counties and municipalities from enacting laws prohibiting ownership of specific breeds. It also states that a homeowner or tenant may not be prohibited from owning a specific breed of dog, or be evicted or denied occupancy because of the breed of dog they own. The bill does not prohibit landlords from restricting ownership of all dogs or of dogs declared dangerous under Maryland law. This bill is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on February 20. Read AKC’s Legislative Alert for more information.

MissouriHouse Bill 1116 would prohibit municipalities from enacting breed-specific laws. It is currently pending in the House General Laws Committee.

South Dakota – Senate Bill 75 would prohibit local governments from enacting, maintaining, or enforcing regulations on certain dog breeds. AKC GR issued a legislative alert and wrote letters urging support of the SB 75. The bill passed the Senate on Tuesday, February 4, and is expected to be assigned to a House committee shortly. Read AKC’s Legislative Alert for more information.

UtahHouse Bill 97 would prohibit municipalities from adopting or enforcing any breed-specific rule, policy or ordinance. It also declares any current breed-specific rules and policies void. The bill was introduced on February 4 and is awaiting committee assignment.

VermontHouse Bill 775 would prohibit municipalities from banning certain breeds of dogs. The bill was introduced on January 31 and is pending in the House Government Operations Committee.

Washington- House Bill 2117 would amend the state's dangerous dog law and prohibit local governments from banning possession of a particular breed or declaring a specific breed of dog to be dangerous or potentially dangerous. The bill is pending in the House Judiciary Committee. Read AKC’s Legislative Alert for more information.

For the latest information on these bills, visit AKC’s 2014 Legislative Tracking and Legislative Alert pages.