Breed-specific legislation (BSL), which includes Pit Bull bans, is very expensive to enforce and has not proven to increase public safety anywhere it’s been enacted. Yet for some reason, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre thinks it’s a great idea and wants to enforce it in the city, starting in January 2017.
Almost all major animal welfare organizations, including the RSPCA, SPCA, Humane Society of the United States and more, are opposed to BSL because it punishes dogs based on their looks instead of placing responsibility where it belongs: on the dog’s owner.
The Montreal SPCA, which is the leading organization for animal welfare in Canada, also opposes BSL — so much so that it announced it will no longer provide dog-control services to the city if officials vote this month to ban Pit Bulls.
“We hope that the proposed animal control bylaw will not be adopted on Sept. 26 and that we will not have to alter the contracts we currently have with boroughs,” Alanna Devine, the Montreal SPCA’s director of animal advocacy, said in a statement.
“We’ll be forced eventually to euthanize hundreds of dogs in good health,” said Benoit Tremblay, the SPCA’s executive director.
Despite the Montreal SPCA’s stance, and the fact that more than 1,500 people have shown up at protests and over 21,000 people have signed a petition opposing it, the ban will likely be passed.
“The Coderre administration is moving forward with its balanced bylaw on animal control,” Anie Samson, the vice-chair of Montreal’s executive committee, told CBC News. “The safety of all our citizens is a priority for our administration.”
There is nothing “balanced” about an unfair bylaw that only punishes dogs because of the breed they happen to be.
Better Alternatives to BSL
The Montreal SPCA has a very helpful infographic on its website that should be reviewed closely by city officials (and anyone who thinks Pit Bulls are inherently dangerous). Instead of a breed ban, offficials should consider more effectively preventing dog bites by using these suggested alternatives instead:
- Enforce existing laws requiring dogs to be on leash in public places
- Enforce existing laws relating to the mandatory licensing and identification of dogs
- Adopt laws that prohibit aversive training methods
- Adopt laws that prohibit the use of guard dogs
- Adopt laws that prohibit the permanent chaining of dogs
- Adopt laws to regulate the breeding and sale of dogs
“Our mission is to save animals, to care for them, protect them from cruelty, and find them homes for life,” the Montreal SPCA wrote on its Facebook page. “We will not, due to biased criteria, euthanize dogs in perfect health who present no danger to the community.”
Merci beaucoup, Montreal SPCA.
Photo via Facebook