Friday, July 27, 2007
Banning Specific Breeds Unfair
Dog experts: banning specific breeds unfair By Dan Klepaldklepal@courier-journal.comThe Courier-JournalTwo dog experts testified to a Louisville Metro Council subcommittee re-examining the city's controversial dog control ordinance this afternoon that banning specific breeds of dogs is unfair and an ineffective way to protect the public from dangerous dogs.The subcommittee is taking testimony from animal experts from all over the country this summer. Today was the second of five scheduled meetings.When council passed its animal control ordinance in December, it had considered banning specific breeds. Instead, it settled for higher dog license fees for animals that are not spayed or neutered. Christine Zink, a professor in the Department of Comparative Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an expert in the field of veterinary pathology, said banning a breed, like pit bulls, isn't appropriate, even if the breed is identified as causing most bites in a community."You don't know the denominator – how many pit bulls are out there," Zink said. "You end up punishing (responsible) people who are doing the right thing with their dogs. Twenty years ago, before anyone ever heard of a pit bull, it was rottweilers. Before that, it was German Sheppards. You end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater."Butch Schroyer, a Lexington veterinarian and immediate past president of the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association, agreed: "The pit bull is the most common dog in American. So you end up with disproportion…it becomes a slippery slope. Leash laws and containment of the animals is what it's all about."The subcommittee meets next Aug. 6.