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Ontario's proposed pit-bull ban slammed as 'genocide'

Discussion in 'Laws & Legislation' started by Marty, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. Marty

    Marty Guest

    Canada-- Ontario's proposed ban on pit bulls amounts to "canine genocide," a critic told a public hearing into the potential legislation.

    Cathy Prothro, president of the American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada, told a legislative committee that the proposed law unfairly blames pit bulls for attacks against humans by all breeds of dogs.

    "For this type of racial profiling, it amounts to nothing more than canine ethnic cleansing," she told the committee on its first day of hearings.

    Prothro also said there is "no scientific proof that genetics cause a breed of dog to be aggressive."

    Provincial Attorney General Michael Bryant announced the government's intention to ban the dogs last fall, after a number of cases in which people were badly injured in pit bull attacks.

    * FROM OCT. 15, 2004: Ontario moves to ban pit bulls

    The proposed changes to the Dog Owner's Liability Act would make it illegal to own, breed or sell pit bull terriers anywhere in the province.

    People who already own pit bulls would be allowed to keep their dogs, but the animals would have to be muzzled in public and spayed or neutered to prevent them from reproducing.

    At the hearing, animal-rights activists pleaded with the Ontario government to drop the idea of a breed-specific ban, arguing that there's no clear definition of a pit bull.

    They also said the ban unfairly punishes the animals while doing nothing to address irresponsible dog owners.

    "Those owners of truly dangerous dogs of any breed will escape punishment because their breed is not targeted by this legislation," said Martha Russell of the National Capital Coalition for People and Dogs.

    "What message is given to abusive and irresponsible individuals when only the dogs pay the price for their actions?"

    Monday's hearing also heard from a woman who described the injuries inflicted on her five-year-old daughter by a pit bull in 1994.

    "The beast left a gaping hole just under the eye so deep you could see the little bones in her face," said Louise Ellis, whose daughter needed more than 300 stitches after the attack.

    "The owner said it was friendly, and it was OK to pat it."

    The hearing was the first of three to be held in the coming weeks.

    Bans on pit bulls have been introduced in a number of Canadian cities, with Winnipeg leading the way in 1990.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2005

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