A couple of weeks ago, the state legislature in Massachusetts passed a new state law that outlawed the targeting of specific breeds with laws in local communities. At the time, there was some discussion about whether the state law would over-ride existing breed-specific laws.
Well, after a couple of weeks, it has become clear that existing breed-specific laws will need to be repealed in order to comply with the state law.
Already, several communities are discussing the impact the new state law will have on their local laws.
In Lowell, which passed its pit bull ordinance last year by a narrow 5-4 margin, City Manager Bernie Lynch noted that the state law "may have an impact on whether the pit bull ordinance is sustainable."
In Worcester, they too are considering changes to their law, that was also enacted last year. According to an area lawyer and chairman of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Animal Law Practice Group noted, "I think these breed specific laws have to be changed or they will be invalidated. I find them to be ineffective."
This is definitely great news for dog owners and residents in these communities as the cities are being forced to change their ineffective legislation and change them to more effective laws that will focus dangerous dog resources on dogs that are dangerous based on their BEHAVIOR, not on what they look like (which is never an indicator).
Public policy is definitely building against breed specific laws and toward behavior-based laws. This is great news for dogs, dog owners, and people who prefer more effective public safety policy.