Senate: Leave the pit bulls alone
By ALICE YIN
LANSING, — No bans on pit bulls allowed, Michigan’s Senate said on Thursday.
The chamber voted 22-13 to prohibit local governments from dictating breed-specific regulations on dogs. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.
About 30 of Michigan’s local governments have some form of breed-specific regulation, which entail outright bans but also methods such as compulsory neutering, additional liability insurance, muzzle requirements for owners of certain dogs.
Canines that are perceived as more aggressive — mostly pit bulls, but also Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Cane Corsos — are most targeted by these breed-specific rules. Among the pack, pit bulls have typically been targeted the most by such ordinances in Michigan.
The bill applies to cities, counties and other local government bodies. If it passes, Michigan would join at least 20 other states that prohibit breed-specific legislation.
Bill supporters say these rules encroach on dog owners’ property rights, and that targeting certain breeds is a waste of time in preventing dog bites.
An American Veterinary Medical Association study found when adjusted per capita, pit bulls were not disproportionately dangerous.