As Jacob Lambert wrote in last week's PW piece, Banishing Acts: It's a Pitty, on the topic of pit bull regulation:
In light of Philadelphia’s recent contribution to this suffering, Mayor Nutter and City Council should consider regulation and study its ramifications.
Lambert detailed a straight-up ban of pit bulls, but the Associated Press sheds some light on this issue by detailing proposals going down in the U.K. regarding doggie regulation. Their situation seems to be a bit different due to their heavily-regulated weapon laws and surveillance, though some may argue our city’s laws (and others) are headed in the same direction.
“In a country where guns are tightly controlled and even carrying a kitchen knife can bring prison time,” writes AP writer Raphael G. Satter, “some thugs use dogs to menace their victims.”
In light of this controversy, Britan's Home Office Secretary Alan Johnson told the AP last week that microchipping all the country’s dogs and forcing owners to take out insurance on their pets would help track the owners of dogs responsible for attacks and compensate the victims of bite-and-runs.
Today, however, the insurance plan (which, according to some estimates, would have cost owners more than $500 per year) was scrapped by the British government. According to Environment Secretary Hilary Benn the government has decided the insurance would penalize "responsible dog owners," something in which they're no longer interested. The insurance mandate would have priced dogs by risk, with breeds such as pit bulls costing much more than, say, a cairn terrier.
The proposed chips, which are still on the table, would cost between $15 and $52.
On the weekend of February 19, there were three serious pit bull attacks across Philadelphia. Following the attacks, there was a predictable back-and-forth between advocates of pit bull regulation and those who defended the dogs.
The problem is not the “pit bull” belonging to Jacob Lambert’s neighbors—the problem is the system.