Mayor lifts Montreal pit bull ban to the delight of dog owners across the city
The city of Montreal is making news in the dog world as they have just anounced that they will be suspending a ban on pit bull dog breeds for the time being while they investigate the breed more closely to determine if they are a danger to society or not.
The ban was first put in place back in 2016 by then mayor of Montreal Denis Coderre’s, and since then has been the focal point of many activists’ fury.
As part of the temporary suspending of the bylaw, certain provisions have also been rolled back regarding muzzling pit bulls in public, and the need to own a special permit.
Advocates for the breed are jumping for joy over the news as the decision to initially ban the breed, and all dogs that look like pit bulls was met with tremendous backlash from dog owners across the city who claim that the breed is not dangerous, but certain dog owners who mistreat them, are what has caused the breed to develop such a bad reputation.
The Montreal SPCA, who has been against the ban of pit bulls right from the start, took to Twitter to celebrate the news: “VICTORY FOR DOGS AND PEOPLE IN MONTREAL | This morning, @projetmontreal officially suspended all the provisions of the Montreal Animal Control by-law that target specific breeds or types of dogs (BSL).”
Under the year old ban, people were not allowed to adopt pit bulls, or pit bull like dog breeds, and those who already owned them had to muzzle them in public and pay $150 for a special permit.
Just another dog breed
As of right now, pit bull owners have the same standard of care as any other dog owner living in the city of Montreal.
Pit bulls must be registered with the city, must be on leash that can not be longer than 1.85 meters, and must wear a harness or halty if they weigh more than 20 kilos.
“In targeting just one race, it created a false sense of security because science … shows there is no type of dog that is intrinsically more dangerous than others,” Coun. Craig Sauvé said.
“All dogs are dangerous, and the bigger the dog, the more the bite could hurt.”
Current mayor of Montreal Valerie Plante made it clear during her election campaign that the pit bull bylaw was going to be a focal point of her administration if she was re-elected.
She says that her administration will be launching an in depth look into the breed to determine if it is appropriate to ban the breed or not.
She adds that she is in “favor of a global approach” when it comes to dog bites and that it is up to her administration to make sure that they are not just targetting one breed of dog.
As part of the city’s investigation into pit bulls, the public will be consulted, as well as animal behavioral experts and veterinarians.
Not all are happy
Not everybody is chuffed over the news of the decision to temporarily lift the pit bull bylaw.
Lionel Perez, leader of Coderre’s former party, which is now called Mouvement Montréal, says that a city run investigation into pit bulls showed that the breed was named in up to 40 percent of dog bites that were reported over the last year, even though they only accounted for three percent of the dog breed population across the city.
“What the administration is doing today is removing the series of additional protections that the bylaw gave Montrealers, particularly the one that required the absence of a criminal record for owners of pit bulls,” Perez said.
Certain countries have actually banned the breed entirely, with the U.K. being one of the more prominant to do so.
That said, it is not the specific breed that is banned, but is any dog that looks a certain way, a fact that has muddied the waters considerably when trying to figure out if a dog should be allowed to live or not.
Pit bull FAQ
What exactly is a pit bull?
A pit bull is the name given to a class of dogs that contain multiple breeds: American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier and any other pure bred or mixed breed dog that is a combination of these dogs.
Do pit bulls bite more than other dog breeds?
There is no clear evidence to suggest that pit bulls are more likely to bite than other dog breeds; however, it is the damage that they inflict when they bite that is the issue. Due to their tremendous jaw strength and tendency to hold and shake what they are biting, they can inflict serious harm.
Are pit bulls dog-agressive? Yes. Due to selective breeding, for the purposes of dog fighting pit bulls are much more dog-agressive than other breeds and often attack other animals for no reason. Even prominant pit bull websites state that you, as the owner of a pit bull should never leave it alone with another animal.
Check out this website for more information on the pit bulls, including their temperament, trainability and health issues they are predisposed too.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca