Montreal, February 27, 2018 – Last week, the Liberal government announced dates for the special consultations on Bill 128, which would institute province-wide breed specific legislation (BSL). The consultations will be held from March 20th to 22nd at the National Assembly. The organizations invited to participate in the consultations include the Montreal SPCA, the Ordre des médecins vétérinaires du Québec, the Federation of Quebec Municipalities and the City of Montreal. However, conspicuously absent from the list of invitees is the Quebec Coroner, who conducted a thorough investigation into the death of Christiane Vadnais – the incident that was the impetus for Bill 128.
As an expert tasked by the Government of Quebec with investigating deaths that occur under unusual circumstances and making recommendations in order to prevent similar deaths, coroner Dr. Ethan Lichtblau investigated Vadnais’ death and, more broadly, the issue of dog bites. His report sheds light on the circumstances surrounding Vadnais’ tragic death and reviews all available scientific literature related to dangerous dogs, canine behaviour and breed specific legislation. In addition, the report makes a number of recommendations to decrease the incidence of dog bites, many of which are not included in the measures proposed by the Liberal government. Dr. Lichtblau’s report also specifically comments on Bill 128.
“We are pleased to be invited to participate in the consultations on Bill 128 and eager to share our expertise on the issue of dog bites with the government,” states attorney Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “We are entirely in favour of province-wide legislation addressing dangerous dogs, but Bill 128 must be revised in order to include effective, evidence-based measures that will truly reduce the risk and severity of dog bites and not waste taxpayers’ dollars on measures that target dogs based on their breed or appearance. We want to see a province-wide dog bite registry, as well as strict prohibitions on dog ownership for those convicted of offences related to animal cruelty, animal neglect or criminal negligence causing bodily harm or death involving a dog.”
“Veterinary behaviourists, specialists in dog-bite epidemiology and other experts around the world, including the Quebec Coroner, have concluded that breed bans do not result in increased public safety. Banning certain breeds or types of dogs is not only ineffective, but would also result in the unnecessary and systematic killing of countless healthy, behaviourally sound dogs in shelters throughout the province,” says Élise Desaulniers, Executive Director of the Montreal SPCA.
The Montreal SPCA encourages the public to take a stand against breed bans in Bill 128:
- Visit www.saferkindercommunities.com to take action and share your views on Bill 128 with the government, as well as to learn more about the Montreal SPCA’s recommendations;
- Urge your MNA to oppose this discriminatory legislation.
– 30 –
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.