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Pit bull discrimination? Recent news about breed-specific legislation

A county-wide ban on pit bulls (Miami-Dade in Florida) will stay in place, as it has for more than 20 years, reports Elinor J. Brecher for the Miami Herald. The original 1989 ban came about after an 8-year-old child suffered horrendous dog bite injuries from a pit bull.

The ban pits the majority, who tend to think of pit bulls as an especially dangerous breed of dog, versus the minority, who generally argue that pit bulls take a bad rap - it's the dog owners and breeders who should be taking responsibility over socializing the dog, whether it's a pit bull or some other breed.

A local paralegal founded the group called the Miami Coalition Against Breed-Specific Legislation, and as Brecher reports, the founder wasn't surprised that the majority voted to keep the ban in effect.

"We only had a few months to reeducate an entire county that has been brainwashed for 23 years," she said, referring to how quickly the ballot measure to keep the ban in place appeared. She also cited how the ballot put the words "pit bull" and "dangerous dog" in the same sentence, which she felt increased the likelihood that voters would approve the continued ban.

So-called "breed-specific legislation" is law that bans certain types of dogs based on their appearance or the conception that a certain breed is dangerous. There have been efforts to ban pit bulls in Texas, but it appears as though state law prohibits breed-specific bans.

Source: In Miami-Dade, pit bulls remain illegal

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