Breed Specific Legislation


Lennox - A girl's Best FriendI know I haven’t blogged anything for over 6 months now, maybe that’s because not much has gone on in my life that I felt anyone would wish to read about,  but this subject has angered me so much and made me sit down and start typing….

What is Breed Specific Legislation?   Well it’s basically exactly what it says on the tin, although it mainly focuses on “bull breeds”.  In the UK this is particularly the case for the American Pit bull, to name just one.  So why the fuss?  Well the law doesn’t actually state Pit bull as such, it in fact says Pit bull TYPE and that is where the issue lies.

Over the past 2 years the biggest case has been over a dog in Belfast, Northern Ireland called Lennox.  In Belfast all dogs have to be licensed with Belfast City Council and in Lennox’s case his license stated that he was a BULLDOG, no mention of the word Pit bull anywhere !!!

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OK so from birth Lennox was classified as a Bulldog until 2 years ago when Belfast City Council’s dog wardens, whilst “raiding” the house by mistake, decided to take a tape measure to Lennox’s head and so decided he was of Pit bull Type and therefore was an illegal dog.  Whilst Lennox’s owner, the Barnes family, refused to turn Lennox over, the council applied for an injunction and returned to seize Lennox and lock him away in an undisclosed dog kennels, where he would then become the responsibility of the Council for his welfare.

A Dangerous Dog???Naturally the Barnes family were not going to give up on their “young man” and so the legal battle began!!!  A legal battle between the owners of a dog who just didn’t look right and a local government authority, Belfast City Council…   After battling it out through the courts the council won their right to put Lennox to sleep, a decision which has created World Wide anger even with a 200,000 named petition to save this poor dog’s life, but of course councils being councils weren’t going to back down and wanted to make sure they were going to get their way….  According to Belfast City Council, Lennox was humanely put to sleep on Wednesday 11th July 2012 at approximately 7:00am BST.

There is far to much about this case for me to write and re-write what has already been said.  To be perfectly honest I don’t see any point in re-inventing the wheel, not to mention that it’s difficult enough for me to write about this as it is, but I would draw your attention to the editor of Dog’s Today magazine, Beverly Cuddy’s – Cold Wet Nose Blog where Beverly has written some interesting articles about the whole Lennox case.

Someone else whose work and comments on this case are extremely important is Jim Crosby, a Canine Aggression expert from the United States.  The article he has written makes complete sense to me and the video he shows in the of Lennox’s behaviour certainly does NOT show a dog displaying any kind of aggression or any aggressive tendencies.  I urge you to go and read this gentleman’s article by clicking on his name.

Maybe by reading Jim Crosby’s article in addition to the numerous other articles floating around the internet regarding Lennox, well maybe then can you make an informed decision on this question:

Is Breed Specific Legislation Right?  Or should it be punish the Deed NOT the Breed?

Thank you for taking the time and having the patience to read my article.  If you wish to post any comments then please do so and I will try and reply to them all as soon as I can.

Lewis Brown

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