Quebec’s anti-Pit Bull ‘Type’ Bill – The City of Montreal submitted its brief today at the National Assembly hearings on Bill 128, which as the province’s proposed BSL law presently stands, would see it aimed at banning ‘Pit-Bull Type’ dogs – a controversial law being challenged by dog owners, professionals and experts in the field. The administration of Mayor Valérie Plante reiterates their policy emphasizing a comprehensive approach to dangerous dogs rather than the specificity of the breed.
In its brief, the city emphasizes that ‘it is not reasonable to rule that only the genetic inheritance determines the danger of the animal’. The administration of Valérie Plante invites Quebec to favour a global approach, based on the behavior of the dogs in order to evaluate potential dangers. Veterinarians and behaviorists trained for this type of assessment would be responsible for determining the degree of the danger of dogs whose behavior causes concern.
“The City of Montreal has approximately 115,000 dogs on its territory. Our administration wishes to ensure the safety of all Montrealers, while offering a welcoming city to the owners of these dogs. We believe that the way to do this is through better identification of problematic dog behaviors, quality animal control services, better control of the animal population, regulation of nuisances related to domestic animals and better education of the public and dog owners,” said Craig Sauvé, Animal Management Manager on the Executive Committee, in a press release.
They are instead proposing a measure that would see the implementation of a national strategy for the prevention of bites, which would include the creation of a National Bites Registry, awareness programs in schools, information campaigns for the population and stricter enforcement measures for the breeding and selling of dogs. The Plante administration hopes that this national strategy will be developed in collaboration with the municipalities and the parties involved in the animal management file in Quebec.
“The vast majority of experts agree solutions that are limited to the severe control of dogs will not reduce the number of attacks involving dogs. We must put in place a more comprehensive solution that will allow us to act on all issues to ensure a harmonious cohabitation of citizens and pets,” Sauvé added.
This winter, from February 16th to March 4th, the City of Montreal met with more than 200 citizens over 18 consultation sessions. As well, close to 12,000 people responded to an online survey with their concerns. Montrealers can also send briefs to the city and a consultation report will be released in the spring. The province’s adoption of the new regulation on animal management is expected in June.
The question remains – will the Quebec Government listen?