Boston, MA: City leaders will fight to keep BSL

Boston city officials have unhappily realized that the city’s discriminatory breed-specific ordinance will be nullified on the effective date of the new MA state animal law (October 31). The new state law, which preempts local laws, forbids the regulation of dogs based on breed.

Boston Mayor Menino and City Councilor Rob Consalvo plan to approach the state legislature and request a home rule petition that would exempt them from the state law against BSL. This would allow Boston to keep its BSL.

Worse still, if the legislature approves the petition, it could encourage other cities in MA to apply for home rule petitions in order to implement or keep BSL. In MA, home rule petitions are not at all uncommon. Many cities in the state apply for home rule petitions. Boston, as the largest city in the state, is certainly no stranger to these petitions.

We do not know whether the legislature would approve a home rule petition to allow Boston or any other municipality to keep BSL. We recommend that residents of Boston write the Mayor ( and Council ( and encourage them to stick with breed-neutral, effective laws, rather than pursue BSL.

Residents of Massachusetts can contact their state legislators and ask them not to approve any home rule petitions that would allow a city to circumvent state law, pass BSL, and undo the legislature’s very wise move to prevent breed discrimination. Legislator finder:

City Leaders Outraged Over Law That Allows Pit Bulls To Be Unmuzzled

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV
August 23, 2012 6:22 PM

BOSTON (CBS) – City leaders in Boston are outraged over a new law that will allow pit bulls to be unmuzzled in public in the city.

The new animal rights law signed by Governor Patrick bans any breed specific rules and regulations, which mean pit bulls can’t be singled out. […]

The city can ask the state for a home rule petition, which would make them exempt from this part of the law. Consalvo and Mayor Menino plan to do that. […]

Full article retrieved 8/24/12 from

One response to “Boston, MA: City leaders will fight to keep BSL