Last updateFri, 04 Jul 2014 5pm

Alan Beck

Denver BSL Expert Alan Beck
How Does He Justify Breed Specfic Legislation? 

Deposition of Alan Beck
Part I

There are only a few credentialed experts who are in favor of BSL. By far the most well known is Alan Beck. He appears for the City of Denver in the Dias litigation. I previously published a snippet of his deposition testimony in the case. I can now provide you, for your reading pleasure, his entire 157 page deposition. Click on the link above.

You probably won’t be interested in wading through it, and if so, you can read his report (much shorter) here.

I will publish just a few excerpts to give you the flavor of his testimony. The excerpts have been edited. The letter T followed by a number indicates that page upon which the testimony can be found.

The first part of the deposition is, of course, a recitation of his qualifications. There are then some general questions intended to establish the importance of the human animal bond, then a discussion of risk factors in fatal dog attacks: Breed, socialization, size, gender, sexual status, environment, victim age and behavior. There is an admission that the early studies did not come up with breed as a factor. Beck says that around the 90’s pit bull registrations went up and breed fatalities began increasing. Countries and cities started enacting BSL. Why the increase in attacks?

(T)he more I think about it, it must just be an increase in the dog’s popularity. T40

Q: Is chaining a causal factor for serious and/or fatal attacks? T42
A: (I)t’s not a major factor from what I remember.

Q: Abuse of a dog, is that a factor? T42
A: I don’t know if they had that kind of data.

Q: Do you know whether intact animals was factor that correlated more highly than did breed? T44
A: I’m not sure if they even studied it that way. I don’t remember seeing data that way. I don’t remember.

Q: (B)reed was determined in the CDC study via newspaper accounts. There was no independent verification by the researchers about breed; is that true? T48
A: As far as I know. I’m not understanding how you could even verify that.

Q: Are you familiar with Karen Delise’s work? T48
A: Yes I am…
Q: And are you aware that she’s attempted to do exactly that?
A: I’m aware of it, and I don’t agree with it….When you have an unskilled interviewer you really get lousy data.

Q: You feel like (The CDC study) was solid science? T49
A: It’s as solid as anything that gets published in a journal of the American Medical Association.

A: (W)ith the data they had, the CDC came out with a judgment that…….60 percent of fatalities from one breed is not – It is important. T53

Q: It actually was not 60 percent of the fatalities for one breed though was it? T54
A: (C)an I look?... pit bull was 43 percent.

OK, enough heavy lifting for one night. Tomorrow we'll tackle the next 50 pages, and I assure you it will be entertaining.


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