Author Topic: TX: Fort Worth Council Approves Ban on Tethering  (Read 497 times)

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TX: Fort Worth Council Approves Ban on Tethering
« on: January 23, 2008, 12:25:43 AM »
http://tinyurl.com/2zl8u4

05:02 PM CST on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 
By JEFF MOSIER / The Dallas Morning News
   
The Fort Worth City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday that generally prohibits pet owners from leaving unattended dogs tied up in yards.
   
The ban is similar to one already passed in Irving and Austin and another being discussed in Dallas. Dogs can't be tied to a stationary object or a trolley system, according to the new ordinance.
   
City officials said research by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that chained or roped dogs are 2.8 times more likely to bite. The American Veterinary Medical Association said in 2003 that "tethering" contributes to aggressive behavior.
   
There would be a few exceptions such as during veterinary treatment, grooming or similar activities and when a person has "direct physical control" of the dog.
   
Those exceptions are valid only if the dog has a "reasonable and unobstructed" range of motion and access to shelter and clean water.
   
An offense would be a Class C misdemeanor, similar to a traffic ticket, and subject to a fine of up to $2,000. The new ordinance is tougher than a 2007 state law that Fort Worth officials said was confusing and difficult to enforce. That state law included time and weather conditions for the prohibition against tethering.
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This is a good example of how information can be skewed to further an agenda.  The CDC study mentioned in this article is here: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/dog3.pdf .  What it actually found was that out of 174 dogs who bit a non-household member in Denver in 1991, 55 (32%) were chained, while out of 171 dogs who did not bite someone in Denver in 1991, 28 (16%) were chained.  Some interpret that as "chaining makes dogs aggressive."  (Of course what those people generally don't mention is that of 178 dogs who bit someone (same place, same time), 102 (57%) lived in a house with more than one child, whereas only 53 (30%) of the 178 dogs that did not bite lived with more than one child.  For some reason, no one has decided that this means "children make dogs aggressive"....<g>)  The study also concludes that more research is needed to verify theor findings, and their suggestions for pediatricians to advise parents on bite prevention does not include anything about tethering (or not).

The statement that "The American Veterinary Medical Association said in 2003 that "tethering" contributes to aggressive behavior" is also misleading; this refers not to an official AVMA position statement, but rather a portion of a joint press release.  According to Dr. Gail Golab, Director of the Animal Welfare Division of the AVMA:

"AVMA has no official position on tethering.  The JAVMA news story was
based on a joint press release with other organizations that believe
that tethering can contribute to aggression.   Based on a review of
the scientific literature, of which very little exists, and requested
professional opinions of veterinary and animal behaviorists it appears
that the effects of tethering are situation-dependent."

The press release is here:
http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/may03/030515n.asp

The AVMA Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions published an eighteen-page "community approach to dog bite prevention", which mentions tethering or chaining only as information to be gathered as part of a dog bite report:
http://www.avma.org/public_health/dogbite/dogbite.pdf


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