As some of you may have already heard, there is a pit bull ban proposal taking place in the province of Ontario in Canada at the moment. For the past couple of weeks, its all that seems to be in the news. Let me fill you all in:
CTV.ca News Staff
The Ontario government is considering a province-wide ban on pit bulls in the wake of another vicious attack involving the controversial dog breed.
Attorney General Michael Bryant tells the Toronto Star that governments ban or restrict dangerous weapons, and it wouldn't be a big jump to include pit bulls in that category. He plans to decide by the end of the year whether to bring in a province-wide ban.
On the weekend, two pit bulls in Toronto attacked a 25-year-old man, leaving him with extensive leg, back and arm injuries. Witnesses say if police had not shot the dogs 16 times, the animals would likely have killed the man.
The dogs belonged to a friend and the victim was walking them, around 3 a.m., when the dogs turned on him for unknown reasons. The victim remains in hospital.
Bryant says his province has an obligation to protect people from dangerous animals. He has asked his staff to look into the possibility of a ban on the breed and says he will also seek input from Ontarians as well.
Pit bulls are not a specific breed, but include Staffordshire terriers, sometimes called "Staffs," American pit bull terriers, and mixes.
The pit bull has long courted controversy. Some owners believe that the problem is owners who train their dogs to be aggressive and say it's not fair to ban the entire breed. Others argue that the dogs have long been bred as attack dogs and their aggression is in their genes.
Municipalities already have the option of banning pit bulls under the Ontario Municipal Act. Bryant says though that does little good if there is a "pit bull" resort in a neighbouring municipality.
The city of Kitchener has a ban on pit bulls. Its bylaw says anyone who has acquired a pit bull since April 7, 1997 and has not removed it from the city faces a fine of up to $5,000.
Jamie Laflamme, the assistant manager of the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society, says the ban seems to be working. He says before the ban came into place, there were an average of 15 attacks a year in the previous two years. These days, there are only two attacks a year from dogs that have entered the city illegally.
But Laflamme isn't convinced that a provincewide ban is the solution.
"It's a short term solution to the problem," he told CTV.ca "People who want fighter dogs will just get something else. We have a bigger problem than just pit bulls."
Laflamme says all dogs can be dangerous when aggressive, but pit bulls attacks are particularly vicious.
"The pit bull was bred to fight, that's what they were bred for. The size of their jaws, their tenacity, their pain threshold -- that's how they kill, and the wounds they create are severe," he says.
"When I heard that it took 16 shots to kill those dogs in Toronto, I wasn't surprised. That's what they're bred to do, to withstand pain and not let go."
Saskatchewan is the only province to pass "dangerous-dog" legislation with penalties that include fines of up to $10,000 or six months in jail or both.
Bryant has asked Ontarians to email him at [email protected]
with their thoughts and to include "Pit bull" in the Subject line.
Here is Micheal Bryant's contact information:
Ministry of the Attorney General
720 Bay St, 11th Flr
Toronto ON M5G 2K1
Tel / Tél : 416-326-2220
Fax / Téléc : 416-326-4016
Constituency Office/ Bureau de circonscription
803 St. Clair Ave W
Toronto ON M6C 1B9
Tel / Tél : 416-656-0943
Fax / Téléc : 416-656-0875
email / courriel : [email protected]
I strongly urge EVERYONE to participate in this fight against breed specific legislation. We all know that it is absolutely pointless and has done nothing good..if not..only bad. Please write it and let him know that its the people that need to be punished, not the breed. Pit bulls are wonderful, don't let the government take them away from us responsible owners. PLEASE WRITE IN!
Thank you for your guy's attention and cooperation during this very difficult time.
Feel free to cross post this message in other forums.. the more people that know about it, the better.