Michigan state Rep. Timothy Bledsoe has offered a plan to phase in over a ten year period a ban on "pit bulls" in the state.
In H.B. 4714 Rep. Bledsoe proposes to ban the breeding and sale of "pit bulls" in one year. In 4 years it would be illegal to own or possess a "pit bull" that has not been sterilized. Then in 10 years all "pit bulls" would be banned.
A "pit bull" is defined as an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, or a mix, meaning a dog "displaying the majority of physical traits of any" of these "breeds" or "exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards established by the American kennel club or united kennel club".
It is not clear who would determine whether a dog meets this criteria or how that determination would be made. Presumably, a "pit bull" could be any dog that an animal control or other law enforcement thinks resembles a "pit bull". This kind of proposed law puts thousands of pets at risk of being seized and euthanized and could cost taxpayers millions each year to implement and enforce throughout the state.
A violation can mean a fine of $500 to $2,000, jail time of up to 93 days, and 500 hours of community service.
H.B. 4714 is pending in the Michigan House of Representatives Committee on Regulatory Reform.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Find your Michigan state representative here.
Contact the committee here: Committee Clerk: Angie Lake; Ph: 517.373.5795; firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Hugh Crawford, Committee Chair Phone: (517) 373-0827
FAX: (517) 373-5873
Faxes, letters or calls are best. Urge the committee and your MI state rep to vote NO to H.B. 4714. Please be polite. Go here for more information and talking points.