03 July 2014

South Dakota law prohibits municipal breed bans

A new law protecting breed specific discrimination in municipalities went into effect in South Dakota  July 1, 2014. 

Senate Bill 75, signed into law by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in March, prevents local governments from regulating certain dog breeds. The bill was specifically aimed at preventing municipalities from banning ownership of pit bulls, a dog breed often deemed vicious but which animal rights advocates consider trainable and safe. 

At least three South Dakota cities currently place restrictions or enforce pit bull bans. In the United States, 17 other states have passed bills similar to SB 75. 

Jacque Johnson, a representative for the Best Friends Animal Society said bans on specific dog breeds go against the grain of equal property rights. 

"We are kind of hoping that it sets the tone for the rest of the Midwest states because it really is a property rights issue," she said. "If you're a responsible owner then you should be able to own any breed of dog that you choose." 


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