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Committee advances bill banning city dog-breed ordinances

Published: Thursday, March 6 2014 6:49 a.m. MST

A Senate committee voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend a bill that would prohibit cities and towns from banning specific dog breeds. (Shutterstock) A Senate committee voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend a bill that would prohibit cities and towns from banning specific dog breeds. (Shutterstock)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Senate committee voted unanimously Wednesday to recommend a bill that would prohibit cities and towns from banning specific dog breeds.

HB97 sponsor Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, said South Jordan is one of 10 Utah municipalities with active ordinances banning specific dog breeds.

King said he originally opposed the idea of tying the hands of cities because he is a strong believer in local control.

But breed-discrimination ordinances are problematic, he said. They're often ambiguous as to what percentage of pit bull a dog needs must be for an ordinance to apply, King said.

Other issues come into play when people want to walk their dogs and cross city borders, he said.

Kathy Collings, a real estate agent and South Jordan resident, said after the meeting that the pit bull ban is a draw for potential residents.

"South Jordan has some standards in place that really appeal to people. … They are comfortable knowing there is a ban in place," Collings said.

She said pit bulls are dangerous and become unpredictable without their owners.

South Jordan opposed the bill in a previous committee meeting but decided to stand down if the bill's effective date were delayed until Jan. 1, 2015.

The bill, which passed in the House with a 43-28 vote, now goes to the full Senate.

— Madeleine Brown

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