Possible BSL in McFarland, Kansas

Widdled down from thirteen breeds to three — “pitbulls” (which is not a breed), Rottweilers, and wolf hybrids — McFarland City Council is considering breed-specific legislation of some sort. Worse, the city council arrived at these three “breeds” in particular based on the opinion of a local veterinarian, who according to McFarland City Clerk Effa Winkler said,

“Their jaw structure is where if they bite you they can really rip you apart”…

Asking a veterinarian to comment on canine anatomy is like asking someone who paints by numbers to critique a Monet. In other words, a non-specializing vet has no expertise in the area of canine anatomy other than a basic understanding and should not be consulted for an opinion on jaw strength; an opinion which is clearly based on an urban myth not on any kind of credible evidence. In fact, Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, Ph.D., who is a Senior Research Scientist at the Savanna River Ecology Laboratory, a professor at the University of South Carolina, and an expert in training, handling, behavior and the anatomy of bully breeds testified in the Tellings case last year that,

“Based on actual dog dissections and measurement of their skulls, the evidence demonstrated that pit bull jaw muscles and bone structure are the same as other similarly sized dogs. No evidence was presented to demonstrate that a pit bulls bite is any stronger than other dogs of its size and build¦[C]ontrary to information relied upon and perpetuated by earlier case law¦and law review articles¦assertions that a pit bull can bite with a force of 2,000 pounds per square inch have absolutely no basis in fact or scientific proof. The testing of dog bite strength has never been done, and would be difficult if not impossible to perform.”

At what point does ignorance become stupidity? At what point does not knowing become a reasonable expectation that you should know better? Shouldn’t a vet know that the powerful jaws/locking jaws assertion is mythology? And after all the breed-specific legislation that has been sweeping the nation for years now shouldn’t a municipality know that BSL is unenforceable and therefore ineffective, punishes responsible dog owners while irresponsible dog owners persist in being irresponsible, and that worst of all BSL in unconstitutional?

Please contact McFarland City Council members via the City Clerk’s e-mail address/phone number that follow and tell them that a leash law combined with adequate Animal Control personnel to enforce it and public education about spaying/neutering is exponentially more effective than breed-specific legislation:

City of McFarland
City Clerk
Phone:(785) 765-2265
awinkler@kansas. net

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