Australia, Connecticut, insurance industry look at breed-specific policies

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2005:

Bob Carr, prime minister of New South Wales state,
Australia, announced on May 3, 2005 that his government will
introduce mandatory sterilization of all pit bull terriers, American
pit bulls, Japanese tosas, Fila Brasieros, and Dogo Argentinos.
“If you are thinking of getting a pit bull, don’t,” commented Royal
SPCA of NSW chief executive Bernie Murphy to Gerard Noonan and Bonnie
Malkin of the Sydney Morning Herald. “These are fighting dogs. They
are totally inappropriate animals to have in a residential community.”
The Connecticut House of Represent-atives on May 4, 2005
approved a bill to bar insurers from refusing to cover specific
breeds of dog, 77-70–a surprising upset in “The Insurance State.”
The state capitol in Hartford is within blocks of the head offices of
several of the largest insurance firms in the world. “The bill does
allow insurers to use breed when underwriting a homeowner’s or
renter’s policy,” explained Susan Haigh of Associated Press.
“Insurers could require owners of particular breeds to have their
dogs neutered or take them to obedience training.”

The Insurance Information Institute estimates that U.S. dog
attack liability claims in 2003 cost $321.6 million, at about
$16,600 per claim paid. The ANIMAL PEOPLE log of life-threatening
and fatal attacks by dogs kept as pets, together with similar data
on attacks by all dogs, maintained by the Centers for Disease
Control & Prevention, indicates that pit bull terriers,
Rottweilers, and their close mixes, about 6% of all dogs covered by
homeowners and renters insurance, appear to have accounted for about
$240 million (75%) of the damages.

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