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Politics & Government

Pit Bull ban going nowhere

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Pit bulls are made up of several breeds - this is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Determining whether a dog is a pit bull or not is just one of the problems inherent in breed-specific legislation, according to the CDC.

Representative Timothy Bledsoe (D - Grosse Pointe) proposed a statewide ban on pit bulls after hearing from a constituent in his district, according to MPRN's Rick Pluta:

He says he was approached about the measure by a woman from his district whose niece was mauled by a pit bull. "And this constituent persuaded me to take a careful look at this breed, which we did. We began to gather evidence and, ultimately, I became convinced that through selective breeding, these pit bulls have become a threat to public safety."

Now it appears Bledsoe's proposal will go nowhere.

The chairman of a state House committee where the bill would be introduced said he won't take any action on it.

Rep. Hugh Crawford, R-Novi is quoted in the Detroit Free Press:

"I don't think it's a dog problem, I think it's a people problem," Crawford said. "And I don't think the state needs to be in the business of being canine police." He said he spoke to some pit bull owners in recent days who told him they can be "the greatest, loving dog they ever had."

Bledsoe said he was disappointed by the news saying he felt his proposal at least deserved a hearing.

The proposal called for phasing in the ban on the breed - first putting restrictions on breeding and selling pit bulls in the state, then requiring all pit bulls to be spayed or neutered - and an outright ban would take place after ten years.

A Centers for Disease Control report on breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks concluded:

Although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates. Because of difficulties inherent in determining a dog’s breed with certainty,enforcement of breed-specific ordinances raises constitutional and practical issues. Fatal attacks represent a small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans and,therefore, should not be the primary factor driving public policy concerning dangerous dogs. Many practical alternatives to breed-specific ordinances exist and hold promise for prevention of dog bites.

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