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Maryland Legislature At Impasse On Pit Bulls Bill

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While the Maryland General Assembly did pass a bill expanding gaming in the state it did not approve any measure regarding a recent state court decision which ruled pit bulls are an inherently dangerous breed of dog.

The Senate passed a bill last week that extended the the strict liability for dog bites to all dog owners, not just pit bull owners as was determined by the court ruling. But the House made some changes to the bill the Senate would not accept, meaning the measure died. 

Del. Michael Smigiel (R) chided Senate leaders for their inaction on changes both Democrats and the GOP in his chamber unanimously agreed on. He says not just pit bull owners, but landlords who rent to them are vulnerable in court.

"All these people who are pit bull owners, and all these landlords, and all these people who handle the animals are going to be responsible," Smigiel said. "It's going to be a nightmare they going to create. There's no good reason to deny this other than ego."

The court that issued the ruling will reconsider its decision later this week, and it's possible but not likely the ruling will change, Smigiel says.

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