The Montreal SPCA says it is “deeply concerned” about Quebec government’s dangerous dog bill, saying there will be “catastrophic consequences.”
Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux announced Thursday the province intends to eventually ban pit bull-type dogs.
These include American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, and any dog that is a mix of these breeds.
Bill-128 comes after several attacks by pit bull-type dogs in Quebec in recent years, including last summer where Christiane Vadnais, 55, was found dead after being attacked.
The legislation aims to tighten regulations on dogs that are either considered or reputed to be dangerous or potentially dangerous.
“Large proportion of dogs and puppies coming into shelters could be targeted by the ban and therefore cannot be adopted out,” said Dr. Gabrielle Carriere, head veterinarian at the Montreal SPCA.
“The Quebec government is essentially forcing shelters to systematically put to death, dogs and puppies they take in, regardless of the animals’ health or behaviour.”
Coiteux explained a decree to eventually ban pit bulls will allow the government to act quicker as new crossbreeds emerge.
“The government will have the capacity to prohibit certain types of dogs… and that list may evolve in the future, because the government will be able to use new statistics, new scientific literature to update this list,” he said.
WATCH BELOW: Montreal’s pit bull ban
Municipalities, which will be able to impose stricter regulations than those in Bill-128, will also have the power to euthanize dogs that attack or bite, causing death or serious injuries.
“It’s not only a question of feeling safe,” Coiteux said.
“It’s a question of being safe, and we think those minimal measures will ensure that throughout the territory of Quebec, people will be safer. They will feel safer.”
The proposed grandfather clause would protect currently-owned dogs, but the SPCA claims it won’t help dogs who end up in shelters.
“We will be doing everything in our power to ensure that the bill, as drafted, is not passed, and to work with the public and experts to convince our government to opt instead for fair, effective, and evidence-based solutions to the problem of dangerous dogs in Quebec,” stated Alanna Devine, director of animal advocacy at the Montreal SPCA.
The Montreal SPCA is currently consulting with its legal team to assess how the proposed Bill-128 will affect the organization, as well as its current court case against the City of Montreal.