LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A bill filed in the Arkansas legislature on Tuesday would make it illegal for municipalities to ban an animal based on its breed.
House Bill 1519 would prohibit breed-specific bans by addressing two sections of Arkansas law. The measure would add, “A municipal corporation shall not regulate an animal based on the specific breed or perceived breed of the animal” to the law regarding local governments and regulation of animals.
The Arkansas code for public health and welfare would add: “A municipality or other political subdivision shall not control or regulate dogs, cats, or other animals based on the specific breed or perceived breed of the animal” if the bill is passed.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. RJ Hawk (R-Bryant) and co-sponsored by representatives Mary Bentley (R-Perryville), Mark Berry (R-Ozark) and Carlton Wing (R-North Little Rock).
Animal breed legislation has been in the news, most recently in the City of Maumelle. The city ended its pit bull ban in 2021, replacing it with a set of ordinances on the behavior of all dogs.
In January, a billboard was put up in Maumelle with the statement “Pit Bulls Kill” and encouraging calls to the city’s mayor to renew the earlier ban on the breed.