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Quebec City Won’t Be Banning Pit Bulls After All

Quebec City Won’t Be Banning Pit Bulls After All

***Update, October 29, 2016*** This week Montreal’s city council passed a piece of legislation banning Pit Bulls in a 37-23 vote. To sign the petition, visit Change.org.

***Update, July 5, 2016***
Finally, some good news on the Canadian dog front: Quebec city won’t be banning Pit Bulls after all!

Mayor Régis Labeaume said on Monday that his previous announcement about all Pits being banned from Quebec City starting in the fall was merely intended to start a conversation about how best to regulate dogs in the city.

“We won’t eliminate pit bulls,” Labeaume said, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Company. “We wanted to hit hard so things would move.”

So, that’s great (if a little strange!).

However, a province-wide Pit Bull ban is still being considered — which would include Quebec city. So, keep up your protests dog lovers; the fight isn’t over.

***Update, June 19, 2016***

Montreal is joining Quebec City in potentially passing breed specific legislation.

Mayor Denis Coderre said on Saturday that he is seeking to ban Pit Bulls throughout the city, and will be asking the city council to approve this plan by September, reports the Canadian Broadcast Company.

Pit Bulls that already live in Montreal will not have to leave the city, unlike Quebec City’s new ban, but must be muzzled in public, registered, and fixed.

According to the CBC, Coderre is still considering whether to include Pit Bull mixes under the ban, and is leaning toward yes.

The head of the Montreal SPCA said he hopes to persuade Coderre that breed-based dog regulations will not improve public safety, but will impose a terrible burden on the city’s dogs and families.

SPCA executive director Nicholas Gilman told The Montreal Gazette:

If we are trying to find a way to reduce the number of animal bites in a community by starting with how the animal may look, we are starting down the wrong path. It is a rabbit hole that doesn’t lead to effective results. Instead, let’s focus on how animals become aggressive in the first place and work from there.

Quebec City’s newly announced Pit Bull ban has sparked protests and recrimination, as Pit Bull owners reckon with difficult choices.

Pit Bull parent Dave Dupont told the CBC.

Pit Bulls are not mean dogs. I love Quebec City but I won’t have any other choice but to move.

***Original story***

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.

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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:

The fear among dog lovers now is that the ban may spread to the rest of the province. Quebec’s premier Philippe Couillard said he is considering a province-wide ban on Pits, similar to one in neighboring Ontario. He expects to make a recommendation by August.

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.

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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.”

Alanna said:

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.

Featured image via Malgupta/Flickr.

H/T CTV News

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