There’s no place in society for pit bulls.
That’s the message Montreal city council sent yesterday when councillors voted 37-23 in favour of Mayor Denis Coderre’s proposed bylaw that would outlaw the acquisition of any pit bull type dogs. The bylaw was introduced by Coderre after a 55-year-old woman was killed by a pit bull in June.
Current pit bull owners – around 7,000 in Montreal – will also be subject to strict and costly regulations and have until December 31 to apply for a special permit with the city, or risk having their dog euthanized.
Montreal isn’t the first Canadian city to enact such a ban.
Buying or adopting pit bulls has been illegal in Ontario for over a decade, a measure that’s been largely ineffective in reducing the number of dog bites.
Despite this, Coderre insists the vast majority of Montrealers want the mayor to take concrete measures to help them feel secure.
Opposition to the ban, meanwhile, has been fierce.
Over 10,000 people have signed a petition vowing to boycott Montreal as a tourist destination while the city’s SPCA said it will halt services in light of the ban.
“We’re not going to participate in euthanizing of thousands of healthy dogs,” executive director Benoit Tremblay said. “It’s against our values.”
The ban is a classic example of reaction over reason, and not once has the role of pit bull owners in their dogs’ behaviour been part of the conversation.
The moral of the story? It’s time to end dog racism in Canada.