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Legislative Update

May 2013 Barker


North Carolina Considers BSL

Reported by Christi McDonald in the EMag “Best In Show”

A bill designed to “regulate the ownership of aggressive dog breeds” was filed in North Carolina on April 16, 2013, sponsored by Representative Rodney Moore. House Bill 956 specifically defines “aggressive dog breed” as any of these breeds and dogs that are predominantly any of these breeds: pit bull, including Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers; Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Chow Chows and Presa Canarios. The bill also defines wolf hybrids as an “aggressive dog breed.”

HB 956 seeks to require any person who wishes to acquire a dog of one of these breeds, or a mix of any of them, to submit to a criminal background check by the local sheriff’s office, and to enroll in a class provided by the Humane Society of the United States or another “rescue organization” (more on the illogical pairing of those two phrases later) for any of the “aggressive dog breeds,” which would theoretically be “designed to educate owners of these dogs about their temperament and … the requirements for responsible ownership of the breed.” Potential owners would also be required to notify their insurance carriers that they have “complied with the provi-sions…to establish the level of risk involved in providing insurance to the person,” and apply to the state’s Department of Insurance for a permit to own a dog of this type.

This bill is so draconian in its approach to animal control and educating citizens regarding responsible dog ownership that it is difficult to imagine how it got past the draft stage, but clearly there are still politicians, even in American Kennel Club territory, who are woefully uneducated about the fact that breed-specific legislation does not work.

AKC has drafted a letter to Representative Moore in opposition to his bill, and members of North Carolina’s 143 AKC-affiliated clubs have all no doubt discussed this issue and mobilized their peers to contact their representatives. The North Carolina Federation of Dog Clubs is also, as always, actively working to educate lawmakers.


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