Last updateFri, 04 Jul 2014 5pm

Denver BSL Expert Alan Beck Part II

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


Part II
Deposition of Alan Beck

It's All Politically Motivated 

Yesterday we analyzed the first 50 pages of Alan Beck’s deposition in the Denver case, which can be read here. Now we will look at the next 20 pages. Read the excerpts below and be astounded.

Q: If the fatal attacks were underreported, would that affect the reliability of that 67 percent number? T53
A: I actually don’t know. As I said, there’s a belief that fatal dog bite is actually fairly well reported.

Q: The number of ….fatalities might be reliable, but the breed identification could be unreliable, isn’t that true? T56
A: I don’t know. I really don’t know.

Q: Do you know if breed reporting was reliable? T57
A: I don’t understand. You mean, llike….How would I know that?
Q: (D)id the researchers themselves identify that as a potential flaw…
A: I believe they did. And, or course, any study always mentions the potential limitations.
Q: And you seem unconcerned about that. Why is that not something to be concerned about, if the researchers themselves – You believe that this study is valid?
A: Right, right.

Q: (W)hat does that paragraph say? (referring to the CDC report) T58
A: Very little. It is clearly a political, let’s make nice paragraph.

Q: “It does not specify specific breeds that are most likely to bite or kill and thus is not appropriate for policy making decisions related to the topic….These relatively few fatalities offer the only available information about breeds involved in dog bites. There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs in a particular breed, and consequently, no measure from which breeds are more likely to bite or kill. More practical alternatives for breed specific policies exist…..Would you agree that this is a document from the Center For Disease Control on dog bites? T59
A: If that’s where you got it from, sure.
Q: What would you like to say?
A: (T)hat’s not the right question to ask. The question is, how many child fatalities are acceptable to society before we ask people to keep a different breed of dog…? (C)hild loss risk…. Can be balanced out by asking people to keep a different breed.
Q: And the different breed?
A: Almost any breed other than a pit bull.
Q: (I)f you got rid of all pit bulls…would you eliminate all child fatalities from dog bites?
A: In the experiences that exist, it has very much close to that effect. When Winnipeg, Manatoba…banned the pit bull in 1991… they have not had a fatality since. (T)he slope of the dog bites has been going down. In other cities that have had some kind of management of pit bulls, there’s been a significant drop in fatalities.

Q: So what do you make of the CDC’s statement that their study does not identify specific breed that are most likely to bite or kill? T62
A: I thing the AMA, which has a lot of influence on that thing, is ignoring the fact that this CDC said, by the way, the vast majority that are killing are this one breed, and that can be ignored as well. Well, they’re not making any value judgments, or they are not saying anything, is just really, I think, criminal…
Q: You surely aren’t saying the CDC is criminal.
A: I’m saying the people – Well I say there were forced – I’m just saying I – I think they are minimizing the issue by not really asking the right questions.
Q: Why would the CDC do that?
A: Because they’re government. And government has legitimate concerns with many constituencies. Sometime the constituencies that are the most vocal sometimes have a disproportionate influence on the outcome.
Q: And so, are you saying that the language was politically motivated by the CDC?
A: My personal feeling is, it’s motivated, but that a personal feeling. The first time I read it.
Q: Do you have any basis?
A: No. I said it was personal.

I don’t think any analysis is needed here.

And that’s where we will end it tonight. It is, after all, Friday night. Your thoughts?

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