According to the Cedar Valley Pit Bull Rescue, the tiny town of Ringsted, Iowa, population a little over 400, has had two readings of a breed-specific legislation (BSL) proposal that would ban pit bulls from the city of Ringsted. Monday, November 11, 2013, the Ringsted City Council will vote on the pit bull ban proposal.
According to the Cedar Valley Pit Bull Rescue’s Facebook page, there was no impetus for Ringsted’s pit bull ban ordinance:
Ringsted,Iowa is planning on a ban on pit bulls. They have had their second reading and will vote this coming Monday.
There was not no attack, only fear that a child might get bit, because some one had their dog tied up outside and was barking.
They did have a dog bite a couple months ago that was not a pit bull and the council refuses to talk about it.
While there was no catalyst for Ringsted’s BSL (other than the usual “rational basis” claims of safety and child welfare, neither of which do breed bans accomplish as even the White House now acknowledges) the City Council did issue an open letter to its constituents seeking input.
In the letter the council wrote,
We have accomplished a second reading of an ordinance which would ban certain breeds of dangerous dogs from residing with their owners inside city limits. These breeds include Pitt Bulls and any breeds which contain Pitt Bull genetic traits.
Pitt Bull would not be a breed even if it were spelled correctly. And genetic traits? What would those be? Because Boxers have similar phenotypic traits to so-called pit bulls as well. Just ask Denver, who, while claiming pit bull ban success, can’t seem to tell the difference between pit bulls, as they are defined by their own ordinance, and Boxers.
The Ringsted City Council claims that they have done research on “these types of dog.” But that’s just it. Pit bulls are a type. Not a breed. Not even several breeds. The slang term pit bull can refer to countless actual breeds, their mixes, and lookalikes, rendering statistics on pit bulls skewed and therefore meaningless.
The CDC confessed to experiencing similar breed misidentification problems with what they called “pit bull-type dogs” in their study when they discredited their own statistics on dog bite-related fatalities and argued against BSL. The CDC concluded that,
Breed-specific legislation does not address the fact that a dog of any breed can become dangerous . . . From a scientific point of view, we are unaware of any formal evaluation of the effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in preventing fatal or nonfatal dog bites. An alternative to breed-specific legislation is to regulate individual dogs and owners on the basis of their behavior (JAVMA, Vol 217, No. 6, September 15, 2000 Vet Med Today: Special Report 839-840).
Read the CDC study in its entirety instead of knee-jerking thanks to junk science stats from the likes of Dogsbite.org, and any rational person can see that statistics on so-called pit bulls are impossible to acquire. And even if one could acquire accurate statistics for so-called pit bulls, that still would not explain the mitigating factors that often surround these dogs, like, for instance, that they tend to be the most abused dogs in the world.
Like many others are likely to do, I would simply encourage the Ringsted, Iowa City Council to more thoroughly research BSL. It is well known by now that breed-specific legislation is ineffective, unenforceable, and even unconstitutional.
While Ringsted apparently has no government website, the information for city hall is as follows and you may write or call the Ringsted City Council members to register your polite opposition:
Ringsted City Hall
112 West Maple Street
Ringsted, Iowa 50578-5036
Thanks to the Cedar Valley Pit Bull Rescue for providing the following:
Mayor: Dan Jorgenson, 712-866-0177
Wayne Kruse: 712-866-1214
Jody Bridges-White: 712-866-1787
Darrel Anderson: 712-866-2373
Tim Lawery: 712-866-1180
Bill Hansen: Number not available