The provincial government bit off more than it could chew by dooming pit bulls as Ontario's worst people-biters, the Toronto Humane Society says.
Results of a survey of municipalities, released Wednesday, show no significant drop in dog bite cases since the government passed Breed Specific Legislation in 2005 that resulted in "countless" pit bulls and related Staffordshire Terriers being destroyed.
In a statement, the THS called on the provincial government to amend its Breed Specific Legislation and " stop the punishment of innocent animals.
"This survey shows that the pit bull ban has not resulted in a reduction in the number of dog bites in Ontario," said the THS, which opposes breed-specific legislation.
A chart based on its statistics shows about a 10% drop in dog bite cases from 2004 to 2005, to just over 5,000. The survey showed a slight drop again in 2006, then the number of cases increased to about to about the 2005 level by last year.
In the THS release, spokesman Ian McConachie quoted then-Attorney General Michael Bryant telling MPPs in the Legislature "it's time that we make amendments to the Dog Owners' Liability Act that make our streets safer.”
The revised legislation outlawing pit bulls "failed to do so," he charged. McConachie said outlawing specific dog breeds "targets the wrong source of the problem.
"Dogs are not born violent," McConachie said. Instead, they are "made that way by irresponsible owners who train them to be that way or neglect them and they develop behavioural problems.
“If we want to reduce the number of dog bites we have to address the route cause of the problem, those irresponsible owners who do not appropriately care for their animals.” he said.
He said the survey shows the five-year-old anti-pit bull legislation "has not worked to decrease the incidents of dog bites.”
It is no big secret or breakthrough that all jurisdictions where breed bans are enacted, bites always rise. A good example of this is Winnipeg, which was touted as being "the model" the Ontario ban was shaped from.
In Winnipeg, the ban was put in place in 1990. That year there were 214 reported bites. Each year thereafter bites increased and by 1997 reported bites hit a whopping 328. That number is up by nearly one third of total bites! I guess the additional 114 Winnipeg'ers were happy they were so protected by the ban?
For the record, there is no such breed as a "pitbull" or "Staffordshire Terrier". Yes, there have been, in a conservative estimate, over 5000 mutts destroyed based on how they look, not behaviour here in Ontario since August 29th, 2005. The dogs that have been killed have been of unknown lineage. There have been no purebreds of the named three breeds seized or killed. There simply aren't enough of them.
There are only less than 30 American Stafforshire Terriers in Ontario. There were 30 but one recently moved away, I kid you not! He is enjoying life in a province that does not practice breed discrimination.
The records are kept by the CKC for numbers in the province, and with so few in the province, we all know each other, or at least of each other. When you see Humane Societies and such labeling dogs as American Staffordshire Terrier crosses, there simply, mathematically aren't enough of them in the province to be crossing around.
Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed (by CKC reg. numbers), Boxers are number 8 on the list.. sort of makes sense the most popular short haired mutts are likely breed mixtures of popular breeds?
So much easier just to kill dogs for how they look, to appear something is being done about public safety... Call them some slang term to justify killing good dogs not dealing with bad owners of any breed of dog.
Oh yes, and lest we forget the man who spear-headed or orchestrated the Ontario breed ban (Michael J. Bryant) has killed more people than dogs (of any breed or non breed) in the past 2 years!
Also see City News today..