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Cameron Younglove plays with a pit bull terrier named Sooke at his kennels near Eudora, Kan., Sunday, March 9, 2014. For much of the past three decades, pit bulls have been widely regarded as America’s most dangerous dog _ but attitudes have softened considerably since then as animal activists and even television shows cast the dogs in a more positive light. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Bill to remove ban on pit bulls passes
Short leash? » Cities had complained bill micromanages cities on issue.
First Published Mar 13 2014 08:04 pm • Last Updated Mar 19 2014 10:48 am

The Legislature passed a bill Thursday to prevent cities from banning any particular breed of dog — reacting to bans some cities have against pit bulls.

The Senate passed HB97 on a 26-2 vote, then the House concurred with Senate amendments on a 41-30 vote. It now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.

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Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, said in earlier debate that 10 Utah cities and towns have such bans in place, and said there is no sound evidence that one breed of dog is more prone to violence than another.

South Jordan especially fought the bill, noting in a hearing that it banned pit bulls since a vicious attack on a girl in 1997. It said it bans the breed because of its ability to do more damage in an attack than most dogs.

Some legislators, particularly former city officials, expressed concerns about the "heavy-handed" Legislature mandating to local governments what rules they can make — and howled about lawmakers trying to keep cities on a short leash.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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