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Quebec City Wants to Ban Pit Bulls, But Their Humans Caused an Uproar


When Quebec City Mayor Regis Lebeaume announced he was going to ban all pit bulls from his city in 2017, maybe he thought the whole town would be relieved. He didn’t count on the anger of the people who love their pit bulls.

Existing law in Quebec City prohibits ownership of Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Lebeaume’s proposal would have added American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, mixed breeds that include these types, and even dogs with “similar” physical characteristics. If it resembles whatever people think a “pit bull” is, it would be outlawed.

Lebeaume announced in a June 16, 2016 Facebook video that by the beginning of 2017, all pit bulls would be illegal in Quebec City. There would be no exceptions and no grandfathering of dogs already living in the city.

“Even if a pit bull has never bitten, even if he appears to be friendly, the owner has six months to get rid of it,” he announced. Those who flouted the ban would face fines beginning at $150 and going up to $1,000 for a first offense, and $300 to $2,000 for a second offense.

Outrage flowed hot and strong after Lebeaume’s announcement. A whopping 18,000 people left mostly angry comments on his Facebook page. Many went a little overboard, threatening the mayor in ways that spurred the police to keep a closer eye on his safety. Others simply pleaded to keep their friendly, well-trained dogs.

Angered by the unreasonable nature of this proposed ban, on July 4, 2016, fifty citizens staged a protest — with their dogs in tow — outside City Hall. They showed up to make it clear this ban was not acceptable to them. The want to keep their dogs, and said they are willing to abide by leash and muzzle rules to do it.

Two weeks of hubbub apparently had an effect on Lebeaume. He suddenly altered his position, saying he’d never intended to implement it.

“We won’t eliminate pit bulls,” Labeaume announced in the wake of the City Hall protest. “We wanted to hit hard so things would move.” Instead, Lebeaume says he’ll wait to see what the province of Quebec may do province-wide. Apparently, Quebec is interested in possibly following Ontario’s lead.

Ontario banned pit bulls 11 years ago. Yes, that 2005 ban reduced the number of pit bull-type dogs in Ontario. What it didn’t do was reduce the overall number of dog bites. In fact, according to a report by Global News, dog bites hit historic highs in 2013 and 2014. It sort of makes you wonder what the point of that ban was and why it’s still in place, doesn’t it?

Nevertheless, breed specific legislation unfortunately is popping up all over Canada. Currently, in Quebec alone:

Montreal – New law banning pit bulls and “dangerous dogs” anticipated in September 2016
Longueil – As of July 15, 2016, pit bulls banned except for existing owners who must comply with various rules including microchipping and muzzles in public
Outremont – Outright ban on pit bulls
Anjou – Outright ban on pit bulls and Rottweilers
Drummondville – Amended pit bull ban to include all “dangerous dogs”
Saguenay – Outright ban on bull terrier breeds
Rimouski – Outright ban on bull terriers plus a dangerous dog law
Candiac – Changed a dangerous dog rule to an outright ban on pit bulls
Brossard – Pit bulls banned; existing owners can keep them subject to insurance and other rules
La Prairie – Outright ban on bull terrier breeds

By and large, city officials are pushed into enacting these laws by scared, uninformed citizens. It’s often a politically expedient knee-jerk reaction to an unfortunate attack by a single aggressive dog. In the highly charged aftermath of a fatal mauling, it’s difficult to tell angry people that all pit bulls aren’t like that. Instead, public suspicion unreasonably falls on every dog that looks like the guilty one.

Here’s the problem with breed-specific legislation — it doesn’t do any good. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, there is no evidence that breed-specific laws make things safer. Ontario’s experience makes that fact abundantly clear.

After studying human fatalities caused by dog attacks, even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to strongly oppose breed-specific legislation. The CDC determined that dog bite data tends to be inaccurate and dog breeds can’t be reliably identified. It’s individual dogs that are dangerous, not entire breeds.

O Canada, stop this silliness. Stop assuming certain breeds or types of dogs are inherently dangerous. It’s all about the people who train them, or fail to train them. Don’t punish law abiding dog owners and their friendly, faithful pit bulls for the horrific results caused by a very few careless people. It’s not right and it’s not fair. Don’t pretend you’re doing some good when you’re doing nothing but harm.

By: Susan Bird July 12, 2016


Little Dog
Premium Member
It's sad seeing the dogs being displaced by this nonsense. One of the local-ish rescues has this handsome fella from Quebec available right now.....if there was room in my life for a second dog I would seriously be considering him. FB_IMG_1492130393752.jpg