I thought we had progressed beyond breed specific legislation, but a major metropolis in Canada – Montreal – has just passed a pit bull ban. CTV News reports there was a heated debate on the issue, but the bylaw was passed by a margin of 37 – 23.
Mayor Denis Coderre says the law was drafted following several attacks, including one that resulted in the death of a 55-year old woman. The city’s statistics show that pit bull-type dogs accounted for nearly 38% of dog bites in the past 21 months.
On the other hand, Projet Montreal’s interim leader Luc Ferrandez notes that only a small number of dogs can truly be termed dangerous. He stresses that bad owners are more often the problem than are bad dogs.
Legal challenges are promised by opponents of the law, which goes into effect on October 3rd. Taking ownership of a new “pit bull-type” dog will be illegal as of that date. Those who already own these types of dogs will be required to register their dogs by the end of the year and must provide proof of spay / neuter, microchip, and rabies vaccination. Dogs of the type specified in the law, including American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Pit Bull Terriers, must be muzzled and kept on a short leash when outdoors, or face euthanization.
Similar legislation is being considered for the entire province of Quebec.
What are your thoughts on this important issue?
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!