State Legislature Taking Aim At Local Dog Breed Bans
We've heard too many stories of dogs being ripped away from families simply because their breed has been called "dangerous". That practice could come to an end thanks to a new bill approved by the Iowa House.
According to Iowa Capital Dispatch, the recently passed House bill would prevent local governments in Iowa from banning dog breeds like Pit Bulls or Rottweilers. The bill passed on a vote of 82-16. The bill targets Iowa cities and communities that ban certain breeds of dogs due to the perception that they pose a greater risk of aggression. Iowa Capital Dispatch reports that lawmakers instead want to focus on ordinances that encourage "responsible dog ownership."
According to the website Pit Bull Rights, 72 Iowa communities ban pit bulls, and many others restrict ownership and declare the breed to be "dangerous" or "vicious" in local ordinances based on breed. Many other breeds like Rottweilers and Doberman pinchers also face bans in some Iowa cities. Iowa Capital Dispatch reports that the city of Fairfield, Iowa labels pit bulls, Doberman pinchers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Siberian huskies, malamutes, and dogs over 100 pounds as "dangerous animals."
Iowa Capital Dispatch reports that 75% of veterinarians say that breed-specific bans should not be in place. The American Veterinary Medical Association says that breed bans are not effective at preventing dog bites and attacks. They also state that the ordinances don't properly address the issues with higher aggression dog breeds, like being unneutered or not being properly trained or socialized.
Yes, there are dogs out there that can be dangerous. But it isn't because they're a pit bull or a huskie. It is due to the negligence shown by the dog's owner. Kudos to the Iowa Legislature for attempting to end these antiquated laws.