Bill to prevent local bans on pit bulls muzzled in committee

[private]A Senate bill that would have prevented local governments from regulating or banning specific breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls, failed to get out of the House Governmental Affairs Committee and has been stopped for this session.

Committee members voted to table SB 184 after a brief hearing Monday. The move means that the bill will not have time to get a floor vote this session and will have to be carried over to next year.

The bill was supported by canine owners, who said it’s often difficult to determine what breed a dog is, but opposed by organizations representing city and county governments, who said SB 184 was an attack on the concept of local control.

“GMA strongly believes that decisions on whether or not to ban certain breeds should be made at the local level,” said Catherine Fleming of the Georgia Municipal Association.

“We also have concerns with this legislation, preempting local governments on animal control issues,” said Todd Edwards of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia. “Ultimately, we elect county commissioners and other local officials to handle these issues.”

As passed by the Senate, SB 184 would have banned local regulation of specific breeds of dogs. Rep. Darlene Taylor (R-Thomasville) had the bill amended so that the word “regulation” was changed to “prohibition,” thus narrowing the bill’s scope.

After Taylor’s amendment was adopted, the committee agreed to table SB 184.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: ACCG , Darlene Taylor , GMA , local dog ordinances , pit bulls