A recent study at the University of Manitoba in Canada suggests that a 1990 ban on pit bulls in Winnipeg, Canada has substantially reduced serious dog attacks.
The study looked at the number and type of dog attacks after breed-specific legislation (BSL) in Winnipeg was enacted. The results show only a slight dip in the number of people hospitalized after dog bite injuries. That number, by itself, is not impressive. But when it is compared with a neighboring city without BSL, like Brandon, Canada, the results are more noticeable.
Before the BSL was enacted into law in Winnipeg, for every 1 youth hospitalized in Brandon, there were 1.28 youths hospitalized in Winnipeg during the 5 years prior to the ban. In the 16 years since the ban, for every 1 youth hospitalized in Brandon, there were only 0.92 youths hospitalized in Winnipeg.
Dr. Malathi Raghavan, who initiated the study, said that although people may see a ban as meaning that all dogs will disappear overnight, in reality the process is much more gradual.
This study is the longest one of its type done so far, and Dr. Raghavan is hopeful that in the future, the study could be more telling, as pets allowed to remain in the city naturally die off.
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