Travelling with Pit Bulls can be a touch more complicated, when compared to travelling with a more traditional breed such as a Labrador or a retriever. Pit bulls, and other large breeds such as Rottweilers, Dobermans, and German Shepherds are often targeted as a part of breed-specific legislation. Breed-specific legislation is a set of laws which make it difficult for pet parents and those travelling with any breed of dog included in this legislation.
Such laws are passed in numerous countries, including in the U.S.A and Europe, and target various breeds of dogs deemed aggressive or dangerous by a country. Pit bulls are among several other breeds which have breed-specific legislation passed against them, making any travel with your pit bull in tow can be challenging.
Having mentioned this plenty of times up to this point, what is breed-specific legislation or BSL? Such legislation is a law or a set of laws, which outlines the exclusion and/or ban of specific breeds of dogs in certain areas, due to a breed’s aggressive nature, strength, or history of aggression. While this is not much of an issue for domestic pet transportation.
Such legislation restricts your pet from entering a country/city, and the consequences for not abiding by these restrictions can be dire, ranging from fines, your pet being confiscated, your pet being quarantined, and in some cases, your pet being euthanized. Given how the punishment for being unfamiliar with such legislation in a country can be fatal, it is important to prepare ahead of time.
However, you don’t need to be disheartened. While the process of pet travel with a breed like a pit bull can be daunting, it is possible with the correct preparations and planning.
The first thing you should do is research your destination. For example, if you’re travelling to Europe, you can look up whether your destination has breed-specific legislation. Some countries ban breeds across the entire country, while others have certain cities/provinces where they are banned, so planning ahead of time and conducting the necessary research is important before travelling with a pit bull.
Plan your journey – Take a screenshot of a map, or keep a physical copy handy, and plan your route. Once you’ve planned your route, head online and research the places/cities/countries you will be passing through. If any one of them has breed-specific legislation and falls on your plotted course, highlight it. Once you’ve done this, you should have a map highlighting the areas you should avoid on your journey.
Chances are you’ll invariably have to stop or cross through an area with BSL or discriminatory attitudes towards certain dog breeds. This is where your research comes in, as you should look up local/state laws of an area when travelling with your dog and account for all technicalities. Can your dog stay in the area? Are they allowed in on the condition that they pass through a city/town quickly? Does your pup need to be muzzled at all?
While no amount of preparation can account for unforeseen circumstances, there are a few steps one can take to ensure no situation is escalated and no disputes are had with the local authorities.
Here are some ways of keeping yourself and your pit bull safe while travelling.
Stay up to date with the available information before travelling through, or to an area with BSL. Local authorities, such as an animal control office, can help you procure this information, and if there have been any recent changes to the city/states policies against certain dog breeds.
Remember that information provided by a country can change with little to no discretion, and it is your job as the owner of a pit bull to remain informed of any change. If your dogs breed is included in BSL, or your dog is confused or similar to a breed falling under the restrictions of BSL, be ready to comply with the authorities. Keep a leash, muzzle, your documentation, and insurance handy, so any misunderstandings can be solved quickly and efficiently.
If your pet is not a pit bull but bears a strong resemblance to them, or to another banned breed, you may consider getting a DNA test done and keeping the results handy in case of any further examinations from officials.
By chance or happenstance, if you unknowingly end up breaking a law, be graceful and apologize
before doing your best to comply with the rules, even if it means leaving town as soon as
Given the penalties for violating the regulations in place, it is best to avoid a region altogether, if you suspect it to be an area not very tolerant of certain dog breeds. Some countries have temporary restrictions, which can be bent a little if you are not planning on a long stay.
For instance, Germany permits the entry of pit bulls, but only under very specific circumstances, and only if your stay in the country is no longer than four weeks. Research ahead of time and plan your journey accordingly, so you know what countries/regions you can safely pass through and which ones to avoid altogether.
If embarking on domestic pet transportation by road, especially over longer distances, you will need to stop for refreshments and for rest overnight. You’ll need to factor in your pet’s breed while planning these stops, as some pet-friendly establishments and hotels/motels have their own rules and regulations regarding the admission of certain breeds.
Unfortunately, the authorities are not the only ones who can impose rules of entry/exit on breed which fall under breed-specific legislation, and this is something you will have to factor in while planning your travels. The process may seem cumbersome, but it is far easier than inadvertently breaking a law and ending up in trouble.
While dogs are not born inherently aggressive or passive, some breeds of dog eventually end up with a poor reputation because of poor training and irresponsibility on behalf of their human owners. While a pit bull isn’t any more or less dangerous than any other breed of dog when raised correctly, the authorities argue that one raised irresponsibly is too dangerous to be allowed amidst the public.
While one can argue that such bans are discriminatory and unnecessarily prohibit such breeds from travelling, one cannot argue with the norms and rules of a country while visiting or passing through it. So, the best course of action is to plan ahead, comply with the authorities politely whenever you can, and avoid areas where you cannot.
If you have further queries or require your pit bull to be relocated, call (890) 890-9020 or mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We provide domestic and international pet relocation services, with your pet being picked up and delivered to your doorstep.