Montreal, April 14, 2017 – The Montreal SPCA is deeply concerned by our provincial government’s introduction of Bill 128, which includes province-wide breed specific legislation (BSL), namely targeting American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, and any dog resulting from a mix of these breeds.
Though Bill 128 does not itself ban these breeds, it grants the provincial government the power to do so. During a press conference held yesterday morning, Minister Coiteux confirmed that following the Bill’s adoption, the government would, by decree, ban all “pit bulls” and adopt a regulation stipulating the conditions under which certain owners of the targeted breeds would be allowed to keep their dogs.
Should Bill 128 pass, the result will therefore be the systematic, large-scale putting to death of dogs in shelters across the province. While the proposed grandfather clause would protect currently owned dogs, it would not save the lives of dogs who will continue entering the shelter system.
“Because a large proportion of dogs and puppies coming into shelters could be targeted by the ban and therefore cannot be adopted out, 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,” explains Dr. Gabrielle Carriere, Head Veterinarian at the Montreal SPCA.
“By moving forward with BSL as part of its solution to address the issue of dangerous dogs, the provincial government has chosen to adopt a measure that flies in the face of scientific evidence and expert opinion” states Me Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “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.”
The Montreal SPCA is also currently consulting with its legal team, and assessing how the proposed Bill will affect the organization as well as its ongoing court case against the City of Montreal.
The Montreal SPCA reiterates that inappropriate canine aggression represents a serious threat to public safety and must be properly addressed by legislation in order to ensure for safe communities in which humans and dogs co-exist and enrich each other’s lives. However, resorting to hysteria, fear, and prejudice as a means to push legislation forward is unacceptable, especially since proven, evidence-based solutions do exist. Click here to learn more about the Montreal SPCA’s recommendations.
Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Communications Manager, Montreal SPCA, 514 359-5198, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Montreal SPCA Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first animal welfare society in Canada and our mission is to:
- protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation;
- represent their interests and ensure their well-being;
- raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings.
For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.