One of the organizations I noticed in the SF Pride parade on Sunday which I hadn't heard of before was called BAD RAP -- Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls. I took one of their fliers, and just checked out the group's website, http://www.badrap.org.
Right now, according to information on the site ( http://www.badrap.org/rescue/CA_BSL_Alert.cfm ), there is a hearing THIS WEDNESDAY, June 29, in Sacramento on a bill requested by San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom that would allow cities to create breed-specific legislation about dogs. Obviously the passage of this bill would open the door to a whole bunch of bad new laws in communities across the state, requiring extra regulations or fees for the human companions of pitbulls or other breeds, or even banning them as pets altogether, as ferrets are currently banned in California.
The BAD RAP group has a very libertarian response to this misguided effort: "Judge the Deed, Not the Breed." They are asking members of the public to call, email, and fax Mayor Newsom and bill sponsor State Senator Jackie Speiers NOW and let them know you oppose any and all changes to CA's state law prohibiting breed-specific legislation.
Phone: (415) 554-6141
Fax: (415) 554-6160
Sen. Jackie Speier
Phone: (916) 651-4008
Fax: (916) 327-2186
Please take a minute to contact these officials, and pass the message along to your friends, family, colleagues, and fellow libertarians to do the same.
<<< Starchild >>>
Outreach Director, Libertarian Party of San Francisco
The BAD RAP group has a very libertarian response to this misguided
effort: "Judge the Deed, Not the Breed."
Interesting. I am involved with the local vegetarian community who are on the other side of this issue.
Why not judge the breed? Pit bulls were intentionally bred to be attack dogs. That's what generations of selective breeding has made them. A friendly docile pit bull is not a pit bull. They are dangerous animals. I'd like to see some mechanism (not necessarily governmental) that keeps dangerous animals out of the ownership of irresponsible and uncaring people. Judging from the pit bull incidents that happen with alarming frequency (as compared to e.g. tigers, bears, etc) the controls just aren't there. until/unless BAD RAP comes up with that kind of plan I'd be cautious in lending support ot their cause.
Here we should keep in mind several sets of rights
(1) the right of people to breed and keep certain varieties of animals as pets
(2) the right of pit bulls and other animals to enjoy a pleasant existence among our civilization free from stress, danger, cruelty, etc.
(3) the right of the rest of us to not have to worry about our kids (or ourselves) attacked by someone's animal.
I think some breed-specific legislation is necessary just as some criminal law is necessary. I am a cat fancier and so am hard-pressed to ban purebred cats. What I do feel is wrong is breeding for extreme types, or raising animals in conditions in which we humans would not wish to be forced to live in.
For example, some types of Persian cats have been bred to have such flat faces that they are very vulnerable to frequent nasal infections and other maladies. I do believe that any sentient being (not huimans only) has an inherent right to not be intentionally brought into this world with a genetic defect.
An even stronger case can be made against the breeding of 'Twisty cats' who actually have defective legs but are considered "cute" by some freakish people. See this article: http://www.messybeast.com/twisty.htm