Eight years later, the Sioux City Journal reports that the number of reported dog bites has instead gone up:
Siouxland District Health statistics show that countywide, 137 dog bites were reported in 2015, up from 110 in 2007, the year before the ban was passed.
There’s no clear explanation for why dog bites have gone up, in these circumstances. Perhaps the overall number of dogs has increased; perhaps more people are reporting dog bites.
Irish researcher Páraic Ó Súilleabháin has suggested that perhaps pit bans leave the impression that all the potentially dangerous dogs are off the street, which “will make it more likely for people to have a false sense of security or act differently around non-regulated breeds.”
What is totally clear is that breed-specific legislation does not make communities safer, and takes a huge toll on families and animals.
These bans are also expensive to enforce, and implicate serious constitutional problems — which is why groups like the American Bar Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and even the White House have come out against BSL, instead favoring breed-neutral dangerous dog regulations.
On top of all that, Sioux City’s pit bull ban is currently being challenged in federal court, on the grounds that it is “enforced in an arbitrary, inconsistent and discriminatory manner, bans animals that are not harmful and does not ban animals that do pose a risk to harm other animals or humans.”
Unfortunately, despite all this, the city’s lawmakers have said they intend to keep the pit bull in place for now.
“It’s absorbed a lot of council time,” Mayor Bob Scott told the Sioux City Journal.
Featured image credit: Flickr/Christine Cowen