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Prohibitions Relating to Dogs in a Breed-Specific Manner – H.B. 297

H.B. 297 introduced on Dec. 18th, 2019 by Representative Ron Hicks

  • Bill Summary: H.B. 297 specifies that the General Assembly occupies and preempts the entire field of legislation touching in any way the control or regulation of specific breeds of dogs. However, a village, town, city, or county can still prohibit dogs from running at large or to further control or regulate dogs within its boundaries so long as the ordinance, order, policy, or regulation is not breed specific.

  • What This Bill Does: H.B. 297 would end breed specific legislation (BSL) statewide. Across the country, entire communities ban or restrict dogs because of their breed or perceived breed. Breed-based policies are not founded on science or credible data, but on myths and misinformation surrounding different breeds. Their impact on dogs, families and animal shelters, however, is heart-breakingly real. Breed bans and restrictions force dogs out of homes and into shelters, taking up kennel space and resources that could be used for animals who are truly homeless.

  • Please Support: BSL laws are typically very difficult to enforce, given that many dogs are mixed breeds and are not readily classed by breed type. In fact, there is no breed known as a pit bull, and many pit-bull type dogs are of mixed lineage. BSL is a burden to the taxpayer and Missouri animal shelters and rescues and result in euthanasia of thousands of dogs a year that could otherwise be placed into a caring home.

  • On April 2nd, Liberty, Missouri voted to repeal BSL legislation in their city.

  • In 2018, Springfield, Missouri voted to repeal their BSL legislation.

TAKE ACTION

Please take a moment to call your representative; you can look up your legislator’s information and phone number here.

Use the script below if you’re not sure what to say.

"Hi, my name is ________ and I'm a constituent in your district. I'm reaching out to you today to ask that you vote YES on HB 297, a bill to end breed specific legislation statewide. BSL has been proven at being ineffective at preventing dog bites or other dangerous encounters. These provisions are also very costly to and difficult to enforce. As a result, BSL laws are a burden to the taxpayer, like me, and result in the euthanasia of thousands of dogs a year that could otherwise be placed into loving and caring homes. As your constituent, I ask that you support ending BSL and vote YES on HB 297. Thank you."