Dog owners and animal advocates are celebrating a major victory in Montreal.
After a year of opposition, pit bulls, their owners, and those wanting to adopt the breed inside city limits are finally free from breed specific legislation. The parts of last year's animal control bylaw that put extreme restrictions on all pit bull-type dogs were officially suspended on Wednesday. The executive committee voted to undo all bylaws pertaining to pit bulls while administration works on replacing them.
— Courtney #endBSL (@NCVideoSpot) September 9, 2016
The city's former mayor, Denis Coderre, pushed for the anti-pit bull policy last August. The ordinance put an end to all pit bull adoptions in the city and left hundreds of homeless animals at risk of euthanasia. Residents who already owned pit bulls were required to purchase special permits, and their dogs needed to be muzzled at all times while in public. They were also required to undergo a criminal background check, and everyone with a criminal record was at risk of losing their dogs. At the same time, new residents moving into the city were prohibited from bringing their pit bulls with them.
The Coderre administration that backed the change in policy is reportedly "disappointed" in the government's recent decision. They claim the city's safety depends on stricter regulation after a woman was mauled to death by her neighbor's dog two years ago.
The people, organizations, and agencies that have opposed breed specific legislation from the start, however, are celebrating a win for animals throughout the country. The Montreal SPCA has been battling the bylaw since it first passed. Their team of lawyers spent the past year gathering information on how there is no scientific evidence that one dog breed is inherently more aggressive than another. They also argued the city's vague definition of a "pit bull-type dog" was an inadequate method of identification. Dogs were being labeled based on look alone, and innocent animals suffered.
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). #saferkindercommunities pic.twitter.com/9sdRcelsGo
— SPCA de Montréal (@SPCAMontreal) December 20, 2017
Now that the Montreal pit bull ban is officially over, pit bull owners are free to unmuzzle their dogs. Pit bull adoptions at the city's animal shelters will move forward, and expensive permits will no longer be required. Pit bulls will be treated like every other dog. By city law, that means they need to be registered, be on a leash in public, and dogs 20kg and more are required to wear a harness or halter when not at home.
A new animal control bylaw is in the works, and all dogs will be regarded based on behavior and not their breed.
Are you glad to see the Montreal pit bull ban come to an end? Let us know in the comments.
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