While other jurisdictions scrap Pit Bull bans in light of ample research showing breed based dog regulations are ineffective at promoting public safety, a major Canadian city is going in the other direction.
On Thursday, Quebec City mayor Régis Labeaume announced that, in response to a a tragic, deadly dog attack in early June, the city will ban Pit Bulls as of January 1, 2017.
According to CTV News, Labeaume said in a statement:
In the next six months, owners of Pit Bulls will have to resolve their situation, and that means getting rid of their Pit Bulls.
This gives the city’s 307 Pit Bull owners half a year to find new homes for their dogs — or for themselves.
Quebec City’s ban will be expansive, according to The Sun newspaper, and includes Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, among others, as well as dogs who look like they belong to these breeds.
In case you speak French, here is a video of Labeaume explaining this new policy:
Per the Montreal Gazette, Couillard said:
We will be looking very, very attentively at what Ontario did. There’s a provincial norm in Ontario, I think we’re ripe to have a provincial norm in Quebec, that could theoretically include possibly banning the species.
The Montreal SPCA — one of many groups opposing breed-specific bans — issued a statement urging the adoption of breed-neutral dangerous dog regulations:
Whether the dog is a Rottweiler, a shepherd, a mastiff, a pitbull type dog, or a Labrador, we must focus on effective legislation and practical solutions that will keep our community safe from dog attacks – focusing on responsible pet guardianship and dog bite prevention, rather than the physical appearance of the dog.
Alanna Devine, the Montreal SPCA’s director of animal advocacy, told us that her organization will be working hard to make sure that Pit Bull bans don’t become more widespread. She’ll be educating lawmakers about what sorts of regulations are actually effective, like anti-tethering ordinances, and leash laws, while urging them not to give in to breed bans that “just don’t work.”
We are hopeful. Certainly, we will not be passive about the situation.
Indeed, there’s at least one reason for optimism: if the Premier is actually looking closely enough, he’ll see that dog bites have gone up in Ontario, not decreased, in the decade since that province’s Pit Bull ban went into effect.