Kirksville, Missouri Passes Breed-Specific Legislation Much to the Chagrin of Reasonable, Thinking People

Editor’s note: While our thanks go to Mayor Kuhns for voting against BSL, the rest of the Council appears to have been hellbent on ignoring the overwhelming evidence of the inefficacy of breed-specific legislation, instead subscribing to the long-debunked urban myths, skewed statistics, and junk science of the opposition.   Kirksville itself defines the “pit bull” as three breeds.   Does it not follow that if you define three breeds as if they were one (though “pit bull” is not a breed) that statistics on so-called “pit bulls” would be skewed and therefore meaningless?

And you can see the radical animal rightist mentality of introducing stepping-stone legislation with the end-goal of ending domestic pet ownership has been fully adopted by some in Kirksville.   For instance, the woman that thinks all dogs over 30 pounds should be restricted in true nanny-state style, or the city codes and planning director, who, like the council, still subscribes to the long-debunked urban mythology about the locking jaws or stronger jaws of “pit bulls.”   And is there any excuse for this ignorance when I wrote the Council and excerpted the following from Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, Ph.D., who is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and an expert in training, handling, behavior and the anatomy of bulldog breeds?:

“The few studies which have been conducted of the structure of the skulls, mandibles and teeth of [American Pit Bull Terriers] show that, in proportion to their size, their jaw structure and thus its inferred functional morphology, is no different than that of any [other] breed of dog. There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any kind of locking mechanism unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier” (Source: American Dog Breeders Association, “Discover the American Pit Bull Terrier”).

This testimony was affirmed by a court of law.   So does the Kirksville City Council think the court and a Ph.D. lied?   And, if you want to talk about lies, I would be curious to know what other lies the Council was told by the radical animal rightists who pushed BSL with the council.   We already know they told them one.   And again, I’m flabbergasted.   With the Internet at everyone’s disposal, is there any excuse for believing urban myths over science???   Going forward, we will certainly be avoiding Kirksville and will not patronize any of its businesses, and we hope that like in Midwest City, Oklahoma, citizens legally challenge Kirksville’s ordinance.


The Kirksville City Council voted on Monday night to approve an ordinance that will add pit bulls to the city’s dangerous and vicious animal list.  

The vote from Monday night was four-to-one in favor of adding pit bulls to the vicious animal list.

Mayor Todd Kuhn’s was the only council member  that voted against the ordinance.

The new ordinance will add pit bulls to a variety of animals that are classified as dangerous…The  ordinance defines “Pit Bull Terrier” as the following breeds: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and any mixed breed of dog from these breeds.

What does this ordinance mean? For starters,  citizens can own pit bulls in the City of Kirksville. In fact, citizens can own up to five as long as those are the only animals in the residence. They have to meet certain standards with the city of Kirksville.

They must be registered with the city, they must be leashed when outside of their confined area and when confined they must be fenced in by a five foot fence.  Pit bulls  must be registered with the city of Kirksville and the owner must have a 100 thousand dollar public liability insurance policy. The issue at the meeting tonight seemed to be clear. Why single out pit bulls?

“Targeting one breed isn’t going to really solve the problem so much as if we assigned a weight limit, say 30 pound dogs or over need to be restricted, they  need to be in a kennel or need a insurance policy because those are the dogs that can cause the most damage,” said Kirksville resident Jennifer Bubel.

“Well  a large dog can cause a problem. It isn’t as much the problem. It’s what a pit bull can do versus another dog. Pit bulls are dangerous, they have a bite strength that is unbelievable and they don’t give up,” said Kirksville city codes and planning director Brad Selby.

However,  there are a few exceptions in the ordinance. If you can provide proof that your pit bull is certified as a ” Canine Good Citizen” by the American Kennel Club, your dog will be exempted from the confinement rules and insurance policy.

If your pit bull is determined by law enforcement as being a vicious animal the citizen will be cited, yet the citizen can purchase a DNA test from the  city of Kirksville to proof that the dog is not of a vicious breed.

The ordinance will go into affect within 60 days of April 1.

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