The Boston Mayoral candidates on breed discrimination

Officials from the city of Boston have been fighting the state to reverse the prohibition on breed discriminatory legislation that was passed on the state level last year.

Councilman Rob Consalvo was one of the people pushing Senate Bill 969, along with Mayor Menino.  Councilman Consalvo decided to run for Mayor this year and was endorsed by Mayor Menino.  There were concerns in the animal welfare community that, should Consalvo win, he would continue to try to bring back Boston’s breed discriminatory law.  It is no secret that Mayor Menino had sworn to pursue the issue as long as it took to reinstitute the defunct breed based law, and the Consalvo was supportive of that.

For the Boston Mayoral primary the top two candidates advance to the election. Out of 12 candidates, Consalvo squeezed 8% of the votes in the primary, putting him in the bottom of the list of candidates.

The two men who will be running for Mayor of Boston are against breed discriminatory legislation.

The two candidates who won the primary positions were sent a questionnaire by Massachusetts Voters for Animals.  Below are the answers from each candidate to the question “Do you oppose breed-specific ordinances?”

Candidate Martin Walsh on the subject of breed discriminatory laws: “As a state representative I voted for the prohibition on breed specific dangerous dog laws in question.  I do not think that dog safety legislation should be based on breed, and several members of my team own rescue pit bulls.  My tenant also has a very friendly Rottweiler.”  The complete questionnaire can be read here.

Candidate John Connolly’s position on breed discrimination:  “I don’t support breed specific ordinances. First, it is an ineffective approach to preventing dangerous dog behavior such as dog bites. Breed discriminatory legislation is difficult to enforce because owners are unlikely to comply with regulations and there are problems with identification, often requiring officers to speculate on a dog’s breed based on physical characteristics. Additionally, such ordinances ignore dogs of other breeds that may be dangerous, including dogs whose owners may have trained them to be vicious. We need to find humane ways to ensure dog safety, including public awareness campaigns.”  The complete questionnaire can be read here.

Informed voters are powerful voters.

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