State Rep. Brenda Kupchick testified Feb. 21 in support of House Bill 6311, a bill that prohibits municipalities from adopting breed specific dangerous dog ordinances. The bipartisan legislation would prohibit towns from addressing the issue of dangerous dogs in a breed specific manner.
“For the past twenty years I have worked with rescues, have fostered dogs, and volunteered with various shelters,” Kupchick said. “In my experience BSL would be very harmful to the breeds it attempts to control, unfairly targets specific breeds, and has limited statistical data to back up its claim.”
Kupchick cited multiple specific examples proving the ineffectiveness of breed specific legislation, including a 2001 Baltimore, Md., auditor who estimated it would cost $750,000 to enforce a breed-specific ban and a study where the United Kingdom’s Dangerous Dog Act, which includes a ban on certain breeds of dogs, estimated to have cost well over $14 million to enforce between the years 1991 and 1996. It has come under fire lately as dog bites — committed by non-targeted dogs — rise despite the ban.
“Breed specific legislation is a costly idea that does not serve a pragmatic purpose,” Kupchick said. “It punishes responsible dogs and owners by unfairly targeting certain breeds, and essentially casts a death sentence for the dogs it targets.”
Kupchick concluded by calling on residents to reach out to their legislators, saying, “I hope people who care about this legislation will contact their representatives and senators to ask them to support it.”