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Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL)

Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL) is any policy or legislation that is directed at a specific breed or type of dog.  BSL has shown up in many arenas, including insurance policies, special licenses, and outright bans of particular breeds (that is, limiting the right to own certian types of dogs) -- most commonly, pit bulls.  

Fortunately for Minnesota residents, MN Statute 347.51 prohibits a municipality from adopting an ordinance that regulates dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs based solely on the specific breed of the dog. In other words, BSL is illegal in Minnesota.

adopt an ordinance 
regulating dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs based solely on the specific breed of 
the dog

Despite the existence of this statute, BSL attempts still pop up from time to time. Here are some documents created by ARLP that may assist with attempts to battle BSL:

The most common place for BSL to rear its head in Minnesota is within homeowner's insurance policies, many of which will not cover homes with certain breeds.  Here is ARLP's list of breed-friendly insurance companies.

Pit Bull Rescue Central (PBRC) maintains an excellent resource page for those who wish to learn more about BSL.  PBRC points out, "The dog most restricted [in BSL] is the 'pit bull.'  A pit bull is a type of dog, not a recognized breed."  For more information on this distinction, check out BAD RAP's Breed Info page. 

One common saying among those who oppose BSL is "Punish the Deed, not the Breed."  In other words, pit bull advocates believe that legislation is more productive when focused on irresponsible ownership behaviors, not breeds of dogs.  

BSL Minnesota

 


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