Quebec, Canada is considering controversial legislation that would harm dog breeds who are already highly vulnerable due to their difficult reputation. The legislation aims to categorize dog breeds as “ordinary, potentially dangerous, and dangerous.” Under such regulations, Pit Bulls and Pit Bull-like dogs would suffer the most.
If the bill passes as it is currently written, it would prohibit everyone in Quebec from owning three breeds that are associated with Pit Bulls – American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers – as well as Rottweilers and any crosses of those breeds, CBC reports.
Those who are already guardians of such dogs would be allowed to keep them. Otherwise, anyone who adopts one of these types of dogs after the legislation is in place could be fined and their dogs could be euthanized, sold, or given to animal shelters. What is more, the bill gives the province power to ban new breeds at any time, and it compels doctors and veterinarians to report dogs who have injured a person or another pet – which will likely lead to the animal being put down.
The Quebec National Assembly decided to consider a provincewide ban just months after Montreal suspended its ban on Pit Bull-like dogs. The law could be struck down, changed, or repealed – but such processes would not be as simple at the provincial level as at the city level.
“The fact that we suspended the breed ban in Montreal means nothing if the bill goes through,” said Sabrina Sabbah, founder of the Coalition to Promote the Safety of People and Canines (CPSPC). Now, the challenge is bigger, but rallying some of the past supporters has proven difficult. “They think that because it was suspended in Montreal, that BSL [breed-specific legislation] can’t happen on a provincial level, which is wrong.”
To pass a bill that discriminates entire dog breeds instead of focusing on the real problem – irresponsible and abusive owners – is absurd and counterproductive.
Pit Bulls have suffered immensely at the hands of people who use this breed in illegal dog fighting. Many people falsely believe that Pit Bulls are aggressive “by nature” – when in reality, dogs used for fighting are frequently starved and beaten to make them fight. Controlled studies have not shown Pit Bulls to be disproportionately dangerous dogs. It is true that they are often identified with cases of dog aggression and even fatalities, but that mostly has to do with the popularity of the breed in general and, especially, with the unfortunate fact that it is very often chosen by people who should not be dog guardians in the first place.
Like any dog, a Pit Bull has the potential to be the most wonderful, loving companion – whether they will become one or not depends on the way they are raised and treated. Because of the immense damage to Pit Bulls’ public image, the breed is now one of the most highly euthanized in kill shelters. Pit Bull-like dogs have a shocking euthanasia rate of 93 percent.
Click here to sign a petition urging the Quebec Government not to pass a law that would discriminate innocent dogs and guardians and lead to even more Pit Bull deaths!
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