Montreal moves to reform controversial pit bull-type breed ban

A pitbull named Athena goes for a walk at the SPCA, Tuesday, June 14, 2016 in Montreal.
A pitbull named Athena goes for a walk at the SPCA in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Just over one month after the municipal elections, the City of Montreal is taking steps to reform the former administration’s pit bull-type breed ban by suspending some elements of the bylaw.

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Councillor Craig Sauvé is in charge of animal management for the city.

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In a statement Friday, Sauvé said Montreal will only be issuing one type of dog licence moving forward — and it won’t be breed specific.

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“The special provisions in the Animal Control Regulations for the control of dangerous dogs, regardless of breed, are maintained in their entirety for the safety of the public. Montreal is a welcoming city for pet owners and will remain so,” Sauvé said.

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“We will continue to improve the regulation on animal control in order to provide Montreal with the best possible services in this area.”

The reversal is being welcomed by the Montreal SPCA.

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“This is the first step in suspending all of the provisions that target dogs that happen to look a certain way,” said SPCA advocacy director Alanna Devine.

She said former mayor Denis Coderre‘s administration targeted specific types of dogs, which was “wholly unscientific,” and “it doesn’t do anything to reduce the risk of dog bites.”

WATCH BELOW: Montreal’s pit bull ban

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The organization was quick to congratulate Valérie Plante on her election win on Nov. 5.

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“The Montreal SPCA is pleased that a party whose agenda gives prominence to animal issues has been brought to power,” wrote the organization minutes after the election results came in.

“This is the first time that animal welfare issues have become so important in public debate.”

Pit bulls in particular were one of the main election issues throughout the campaign, and Plante’s party, Projet Montréal, ran on a promise to repeal the city’s year-old pit bull ban if elected.

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The new version of the animal by-law will be presented in the new year.


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