Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bill Would Allow Breed-Specific Bans

Existing Illinois law prohibits cities and municipalities from issuing a ban on specific dog breeds. Instead, “dangerous dogs” are determined not by arbitrary breed distinctions, but rather by the behavior of individual dogs.

HB 1080, a bill introduced in the Illinois State Legislature by State Representative John E. Bradley (D-117), would change that law to allow cities and municipalities that choose to ban specific breeds of dogs. There is little doubt that this would result in some cities to make the decision to ban the much-maligned pit bull.

There is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that breed-specific bans do not make communities safer. Groups like Best Friends, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Humane Society of the United States have all come out against breed-specific bans.


Please ask your state representative to oppose HB 1080. This bill will be voted on by the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee on Tues, March 1.

Members of the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee are listed here; click on the names for contact info:

If you don't know who your state representative is, go here and enter your address to find out:

The bill’s sponsor, State Representative John E. Bradley can be reached by calling (217) 782-1051 or emailing

TALKING POINTS (Whenever possible, include information about your own experience with pit bulls or other so-called “dangerous breeds.”):
  • As a voter in your district, I’m calling/writing you to ask you to oppose HB 1080, which would allow cities and municipalities to ban dogs by breed rather than by dangerous behavior.
  • A number of different breeds of dogs are commonly confused with the pit bull, making breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL) extremely hard to enforce.
  • Pit bulls are gentle, loving and loyal. And, like any dog raised responsibly, they make great family pets.
  • No breed of dog is inherently aggressive or vicious.
  • Dogs kept for fighting are victims.
  • All dogs deserve humane care, socialization and training.

These talking points come from Best Friend’s Pit Bulls: Saving America’s Dog campaign. It can be found here:

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