Clay, Alabama Mayor Charles Webster Snubs BSL Compromise; Suggests More BSL
At Monday night’s “work session” the Clay City Council met to continue discussing modification of the City’s breed-specific ordinance that bans “pit bulls” and other “vicious dogs.” As it stands now, Clay’s breed-specific law (BSL) will go into effect August 3, 2013 and Clay residents have until that time to register their “pit bulls.”
City Attorney Alan Summers introduced a compromise that would remove the breed-specific portion of the ordinance, but Clay’s mayor, Charles Webster, argued instead for the addition of even more breeds to Clay’s existing breed-specific ordinance claiming that,
“If you take the pit bull name out, we should include the 11 breeds that the insurance companies have,” Webster explained. “Let’s go ahead and include those 11 breeds and don’t identify one. Let’s identify them all.”
Did I read that right? Is Mr. Webster saying that Clay should just outright ban the 11 breeds that insurance companies most often blacklist?
But are actuaries able to take into account accurate population data when determining risk and probability for dog bites as relates to breed? For “pit bulls” especially, there is no way actuaries can properly calculate risk when they can’t even accurately determine population size, since the definition of “pit bull” is constantly changing. Some think “pit bulls” are only American Pit Bull Terriers, some think any and all bulldog breeds are “pit bulls,” others include mastiffs, and still others think any medium or large well-muscled breed is a “pit bull” including English Bulldogs and Boxers. And don’t forget that you can tack on to any one of those categories mixed breeds and lookalikes and call those “pit bulls” too. For these very reasons — inability to determine population sizes and inability to define the term “pit bull” — the CDC dismissed its own bite statistics.
So all that the insurance “blacklist” proves is that these breeds tend to be the most popular dog breeds. Chihuahuas are also a very popular breed and insurance companies have denied home owner’s policies to Chihuahua owners too. Would Mr. Webster also ban Chihuahuas? Indeed, does Clay propose to just keep banning dog breed after dog breed until there are no more dogs left?