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Winnipeg city council votes to keep pit bull ban in place

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A pit bull ban will remain in Winnipeg.

In a tight vote at city council Thursday night, councillors voted 9-7 against removing the prohibition of specific dog breeds from the responsible pet ownership by-law.

The ban also remains place for American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and predominant mixes.

Those breeds have been illegal in Winnipeg since 1990 after a series of attacks involving dogs.

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman was one of the nine to vote against lifting the ban.

“They are a dangerous breed. The ban was brought in for a reason and should not be changed,” Bowman said, after listing off a number of attacks that have taken place locally and across Canada.

“I think there are some people that could properly own pit bulls, but there are some that can’t so I’m not going to support the reintroduction of pit bulls,” added North Kildonan councillor Jeff Browaty.

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READ MORE: New report challenges ban on owning certain dog breeds in Winnipeg

Winnipeg Humane Society CEO Jessica Miller says it’s unfair to have a widespread ban on one breed.

“The classification of the slang term ‘pit bull’ really is just society grouping in a large variation of breeds that look similar and basically placing the onus that those types of breeds that we’re going to call pitbulls are going to do these certain thing and it’s just not true,” Miller said.

“It’s not supported by science. From the shelter perspective, we see all kinds of dogs from all different backgrounds and they all vary on their behaviour.”

There were parts of the pet ownership bylaw passed including introducing dangerous dog designations to be created for pets owned by irresponsible pet owners. This would allow an owner to keep a dog that has been involved in significant attacks, but with restrictions.

And a breeding permit fee of $232.30 for dogs and cats has been approved and will go into effect by July 1.

Meanwhile, council voted against introducing a pilot project which would allow urban chicken keeping in Winnipeg.

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