CVMA's Position Statement on Breed Specific (Pit Bull) Legislation

The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association is one of the largest regional veterinary association in the nation with nearly 1000 veterinarians and 4000 support staff who lovingly assist more than one million Chicago area pets and their families. As undisputed authorities in matters pertaining to animals, we would like to express our concerns and visions on local animal legislation.

We understand that there is a current push to ban "pit bulls" and "pit bull type" dogs within communities in Illinois, and we do not support breed specific legislation. We would like to become a springboard for information. As highly educated animal experts, we are an invaluable resource for local City Councils and County Boards when legislative matters involving animals arise.

Our position statement: The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association supports proper training and socialization of pets, as well as spaying/neutering. Since any dog can be trained to be aggressive, responsible ownership is the key to this issue. The CVMA does not support breed specific legislation. Forcing responsible pet owners to surrender well-behaved dogs is both unfair and unnecessary. The CVMA strongly supports enforcing leash laws, vaccination requirements and the implementation of programs to teach responsible dog ownership. In addition, we advocate setting clear guidelines to manage dangerous dogs on an individual basis.

The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association is prepared to offer expert opinion and assistance in developing more successful bite prevention legislation.