Monday, September 29, 2008

Another BSL Battleground

America's midwest provides another stage for the same old battle.  From KSPR in Springfield, Missouri: 

Councilman Opposes Pit Bull Law
By Natalie Swallow

Story Created: Sep 29, 2008

Story Updated: Sep 29, 2008
Springfield's pit bull law faces new opposition from within city government.

Councilman Doug Burlison says he's been against the pit bull ordinance since before he ran for city council last year.

He says the law is wrong because it singles out one specific breed, pit bulls.

Pit bull owner Betty Browning says her five pound Chihuahua is the dog with the bite, not her pit bulls.

She says people have a misconception about the dogs.

"They're labeled and it's not a good label, it's not a good label, and it's not a deserved label," Browning said.

Browning says she registered her pit bulls after the city's pit bull ordinance went into effect.

"We complied. We complied because responsible owners, they take care of their animals," Browning said.

She says the real danger is pit bull owners who don't comply with the law, making it ineffective.

Councilman Burlison agrees.

"I feel the ordinance itself is not very enforceable," Burlison said. "It's not like we can go visit every household and inspect for pit bulls or anything."

Officials at the health department refused to go on camera for an interview, but said according to department statistics, the ordinance is effective and has had a positive impact on the community.

But, Burlison also takes issue with the bill being breed specific.

"It makes an assumption that every pit bull that is out there is a vicious animal and not a correct assumption," Burlison said.

Just ask Browning, she says her pit bulls, Lilly and Blue-B, are anything but vicious.

"It's just a total misconception," Browning said.

Burlison says he is working on getting more council members on his side before bringing forward a formal proposal to repeal the ordinance.

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