Pit bull bans are sweeping the Great White North, as more and more cities and even entire provinces jump on the breed discrimination bandwagon.
Many provinces have cities with pit bull bans in place, and Ontario has a sweeping ban across the entire province.
Now, Montreal is joining in the potential passage of a bill to ban pits.
Why is all of this happening?
That’s what we’re talking about today!
Pit Bull Bans Sweep Across Canada
It all began on June 15, 2016, the mayor of Quebec City, Regis Labeaume and his administration amended a portion of the Executive Committee of the City known as the Domestic Animals Regulations.
The amended portion states that as of January 1, 2017, pit bulls will be banned in Quebec City. The amendment was prompted by an incident in Montreal on June 8, 2016, when a 55-year-old woman died as the result of a vicious attack by her neighbor’s pit bull.
After the Montreal incident, the Montreal SPCA issued a statement stating that regulations do need to occur, but that they don’t condone breed-specific legislation.
Specifically, the Montreal SPCA stated, “The Montreal SPCA has always been, and will always be, concerned about dangerous dogs in our community. We must focus on effective legislation and practical solutions that will keep our community safe from dog attacks.
However, the Montreal SPCA does not consider breed-specific legislation to be an effective or practical solution to this problem.”
— Rosie Emery (@RosieEmery) June 14, 2016
On June 18, 2016, the mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, requested that the city council approve a ban on all pit bulls in Montreal and he wants this done by September of 2016, just 3 months away.
The bill would allow current pit bull owners to keep their dogs under specific guidelines, but would completely ban new pit bulls in the city. Coderre told the Canadian Broadcast Company, “There is a situation regarding pit bulls that demands public authorities to take a stand.”
Once again, Montreal SPCA responded with Nicholas Gilman, the Montreal SPCA Executive Director, saying, “If we are trying to find a way to reduce the number of animal bites in a community by starting with how the animal may look, we are starting down the wrong path.
It is a rabbit hole that doesn’t lead to effective results. Instead, let’s focus on how animals become aggressive in the first place and work from there.”
The Montreal SPCA isn’t the only ones opposed to this breed-specific bill either, as pit bull owners are also weighing in. The Montreal Mayor posted a video on his Facebook page on the morning of June 16, 2016, announcing the impending ban on all pit bulls in the city. As of today (June 21, 2016), the post has received 1.2 million views, along with 17,485 comments.
Some of the comments include:
- Hubert Gravel, on June 16, 2016 at 3:13 pm, “As a father, I do not feel comfortable with voyeurs, rapists, pedophiles, etc., in the territory of Quebec City. Can we euthanize too?”
- Marie-Douce Anctil, on June 16, 2016 at 6:36 pm, “I Want you to be present at EACH euthanized when animal owners will have no choice but to do so because of the cruel and unjust decision that YOU have taken their places.”
- Linda Lafleur, on June 20, 2016 at 7:52 pm, “You say you acting family man. Put you in the place of those who are going to announce to their children that they love the dog must die because he was not born in the right race.”
Canadians are also taking to Twitter to share their outrage over the proposed breed-specific legislation.
So Quebec City would actually ban Don Cherry's dog? This is an attack on Canada? 🇨🇦 nutty
— Tim (@TCB17) June 21, 2016
Some statistics that show that breed-specific legislation doesn’t always fix the problem at hand. One example is the 2005 legislation passage of a law stating that all pit bulls, in Ontario, must be muzzled or leashed while in public and must also be spayed or neutered within 2 months of the bill’s passage.
Here’s the problem: dog bites have been on the rise since 2012 in Toronto. According to Global News, in Ontario, there were 465 bites from pit bulls in 2012, 652 in 2013 and 767 in 2014.