Quebec won’t go ahead with ban on pit bull-type dogs

It's back to the drawing board for Quebec's breed-specific legislation. Thumbnail

It’s back to the drawing board for Quebec’s provincial breed-specific dangerous dog ban.

Last week, Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux insisted Bill 128 would be passed before the end of the legislative session next Friday.

READ MORE: Montreal SPCA against Quebec pit bull ban

He insisted a law on dangerous dogs may still be passed in the six remaining days of the session, but it would not ban specific breeds like pit bull-types or Rottweilers.

Coiteux said Wednesday there was no consensus on whether breed-specific bans are safer for the population.

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During public hearings, the national assembly heard testimony from the families of victims of pit bull attacks.

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It heard from municipal officials who voiced concern about how to enforce breed-specific legislation.

READ MORE: Proposed dangerous dogs law overlooks Quebec First Nations, government hears

The public hearings also heard from Quebec’s SPCAs, which argued pit bulls are not more dangerous than other large dogs.

The Association québécoise des SPA et SPCA (AQSS) and Montreal SPCA testified that veterinarians and dog behaviour experts oppose breed-specific legislation.

“There is nothing about a dog’s breed that makes them any more dangerous than another breed. What is a factor is size, so bigger dogs can do more damage,” said Alanna Devine, director of animal advocacy for the Montreal SPCA.

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Coiteux admitted Wednesday that the families of victims may be disappointed with his decision; he says he plans to move forward with other measures, including euthanizing dogs that attack people.

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“We’re going to have strict rules to protect people in every single city of the province and those rules will be severe. If a dog represents a danger for society because of aggressive behaviour, the rules will be even stricter,” he said.

The minister also promised stricter rules for breeders to avoid genetic and behavioural problems in puppies that could lead them to grow up and become aggressive.

READ MORE: Quebec man convicted in pit bull mauling gets four year prison sentence

Quebec politicians are still working on the amendment to the bill, but if it is to become law, it will have to be done by the end of next week.

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