Sunday, April 17, 2011

Beware the light at the end of the tunnel ....

I love to putter in my kitchen!   What's not to love?   It is large and comfortable and so familiar I could find almost anything blindfolded.  Not surprisingly, it is chock full of all the things you would expect a professional cook to have.    Do I really use everything?  Not even close!
From baking to shredding raw vegies for dog food to making hummus and everything in between ... the only appliance that really sees steady use is my trusty food processor.  Truth be told ... all the other 'convenient' gadgets that were supposed to make life simpler were really a big fat waste of money :)
Why are savvy ad campaigns currently focusing on the good value being offered?  With spiralling prices, people need to feel that they are getting good measure for their money of course!
Politicians are in much the same position.   Suggestions that they are squandering our tax dollars have more of a negative impact than if they were to moon the general populace on the post office steps at high noon.
Yet at the same time, they are expected to address voter concerns quickly.   When voters are upset about something .. they don't want to wait.  They want action and they want it now.
The Yarmouth Town Council is considering implementing BSL.  Will that address the problem?  Historically, any other place in North America and Europe that has implemented BSL has not experienced a reduction in dog bites.
BSL costs more than the lives of family pets :
  • to begin with, Yarmouth would be unable to have any contractual relationship with their local SPCA branch as it would create a conflict of interest with the society's official position of No Kill
  • now that dog DNA testing is available, litigation costs for the town could foreseeably hike up in a hurry.  Lets face it ... anyone who can afford it is going to pull out all the stops, eh?
  • ergo there are going to be more sheltering costs while litigation is in process.  If you think that is an exaggeration, kindly remember how long Brindi has been in custody, hmmm?
  • "who can afford it" is going to directly impact on which dogs live and which dogs die.   In other words, if everyone in Yarmouth had deep enough pockets to build the fence and get the insurance, BSL would not be such a tragedy.
  • Even worse, these days, at least in Nova Scotia, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find an company willing to insure older homes.  To suggest that it is even possible for everyone to get insurance is ridiculous and unrealistic.
  • As a sidebar to that, it will become very difficult to find a landlord willing to rent to anyone with a banned breed.
  • Last but not least, enforcement costs go up.
In other words, it won't be elected officials who pay any personal price for implementing BSL.  In a community struggling to meet the challenges created by the loss of the Cat, the collateral damage to BSL will be each and every person who has lost their job or had their hours cut back.
The folks who used to work at the Rodd Hotel.  Everyone with a B and B, a gift shop, a restaurant or providing any other related service.  
BSL does not just discriminate against specific breeds.   It discriminates against every resident who does not have deep enough pockets to fulfill the necessary criteria.
The tragedy is that there is a better path ... one that actually has created a safer community.   In Calgary, dog bites are down without BSL.
At the end of the day, fiscal common sense should come into play.  It is just frosting on the cake that the more compassionate models such as the Calgary Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw actually create safer communities.
Beware of the light at the end of the tunnel ... it could be an oncoming train.  source unknown.

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