December 16, 2018

Michigan Senate passes bill banning breed-specific legislation

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LANSING — The Michigan Senate has passed a bill prohibiting local governments from banning the ownership of certain dog breeds.

Senate Bill 741 would nullify any pre-existing town ordinances, resolutions, policies or rules that ban specific dog breeds from being owned in a certain area. It would also prevent local governments from making such rules in the future. The entity voted 22-13 in favor of the bill.

Although the bill would ban local governments from enforcing breed-specific legislation, it specifies it would still be legal to enact regulations that affect all dog owners.

State Rep. Triston Cole said he doesn’t remember how he voted on the issue, but he prefers to let people make their own decisions.

“I generally come down to freedom on this issue,” Cole said. “Now if this was a Michigan ban, that’s a different thing. But it’s not, this is a patchwork of smaller laws people have to deal with. I’m not too keen on taking away people’s freedoms.”

There are currently more than 30 local governments in Michigan, including the city of West Branch, that have breed-specific legislation. West Branch bans multiple breeds of pit bull, terrier or any dog that is a mixed breed of one of four banned breeds. The city also reserves the right to ban any dog that resembles one of those breeds.

If the bill is passed, Michigan would join seven other states, including Arizona and Maine, in prohibiting municipal regulation of dogs based on breed. Fifteen other states prohibit the declaration of “dangerous” or “vicious” dogs based on breed alone.

The bill is now moving through the Michigan House of Representatives. It passed an initial vote with 190 votes in favor and 22 against. It is currently under review by the House Committee on Local Government.

If it is made law, local governments would have 90 days before this takes effect.

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Connie

I believe banning pit bulls or any mix of pit bulls is an excellent idea. They may seem wonderful and loving but I have seen too many pictures of children who have been bit in the face by this type of dog. This is one way for the state to protect out children.

Tuesday, May 15 | Report this
Tyrion

I think if you read the bill closely you will see that yes that all though they will not be able to ban specific breeds communities CAN vote to make certain restrictions to allow safety for all residents. As example "fenced in yards, muzzles, insurance coverage for dog owners of aggressive breeds, etc.".

Laws are meant to assure rights of all with a wide reaching arms to include many. Smaller local governmental agencies still have the right to make restrictions that better fit their communities.

Restrictions are a must to assure safety in our communities!!

Wednesday, May 16 | Report this
Val

Have you ever owned a pit bull? Or are you just going by what you "hear?" Because there are plenty of breeds of dogs that are violent but you only seem to hear about pit bulls which is very unfair!! A great dog depends on the dogs owner!! I own a pit bull and he is the most loving gentle dog with my kids and everyone that comes around!! I also own two lab/American bulldog mixes and they are gentle giants but they would protect me before the pit bull would.

Wednesday, May 16 | Report this

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