October 5, 2016 11:03 am
Updated: October 5, 2016 4:50 pm

Montreal pit bull ban: Quebec judge suspends controversial bylaw

WATCH ABOVE: Superior Court Justice Louis Gouin ordered a stay of the Montreal bylaw targeting pit bull-type dogs. The decision was handed down Wednesday afternoon in Montreal. Elysia Bryan-Baynes has more.

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Quebec Superior Court Justice Louis Godin ruled in favour of the SPCA Wednesday in its fight with the city of Montreal over its controversial animal control bylaw.

On Monday the judge suspended the pit bull-related clauses of the animal control bylaw pending today’s decision.

WATCH BELOW: Judge temporarily suspends Montreal pit bull bylaw

Under the bylaw, adopting new pit bull-type dogs is illegal and current dog owners face strict regulations.

Owners of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers, including a mix of those breeds and any dog that looks like a pit bull need to apply for a special permit.

Listed dogs are also required to be muzzled, sterilized and fitted with a microchip.

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READ MORE: Where can you apply for a special permit to keep your pit bull-type dog in Montreal?

The temporary suspension means pit bulls can still be adopted and muzzling is not mandatory.

Arguments presented in court by the SPCA contend the law is discriminatory and contrary to Quebec’s animal welfare laws.

READ MORE: ‘Coderre should wake up and smell the bacon’: Protesters speak out against pit bull bylaw

The injunction granted today is temporary meaning the bylaw will be suspended for as long as it takes for the case to be heard on its on merits.

The SPCA was pleased with today’s ruling but acknowledged there’s more work to do.

“The fight is far from being over, but we are very pleased with this first victory,” Sophie Gaillard, a lawyer for the SPCA, said in a written statement.

“We are particularly delighted to be able to continue finding adoptive homes for all of our healthy and behaviorally sound dogs, regardless of their physical appearance.”

The SPCA is hoping to mount a legal challenge that could eventually lead to a complete retraction of the controversial dangerous dog bylaw.

– With a file from the Canadian Press

 

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