Press release: Dorval targets 10 dog breeds in a project to update their animal control laws
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Dorval targets 10 dog breeds in a project to update their animal control laws
Montreal, September 17 2019 – The Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) Canada reacts to the public release of the project to update the City of Dorval’s animal protection laws, planning to target 11 dog breeds by applying breed-specific legislation.
With its update project, the City of Dorval wishes to implement a framework concerning ‘’potentially dangerous’’ dogs. Using a similar definition to that of Montreal, the city defines a dangerous dog as ‘’a dog that has caused the death of a person or animal’’ or ‘’a dog that has been declared dangerous by a competent authority’’.
However, the update also targets 11 dog breeds (or dogs mixed with one or many of these breeds), including the following: Pitbull, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Bulldog, Mastiff, Husky, Labrador, Boxer, Doberman, Chow Chow. The project also includes a list of rules that must be followed by owners of dogs in the list mentioned previously. Among others, the dog must be muzzled at all times when outside the home, unless a competent authority receives a behaviour evaluation report by a veterinarian, showing that the animal has a mild temperament and presents no danger of attacking. The owner must also have control of their dog at all times and dispose of the physical strength necessary to control it and prevent it from escaping and must display in full view ‘’pictograms’’ at all main entrances of the home and yard to identify the presence of a dog from the list. Moreover, any injuries caused by a potentially dangerous dog must be relayed to a ‘’competent authority’’. However, this selection of ‘’potentially dangerous breeds’’ is not backed by science, and no study has proved the dangerousness of one or many of these breeds.
Indeed, the behaviour of an animal is influenced by many things, including its past, its education and the environment in which it lives. ‘’Punishing animals like this and targeting specific breeds with no scientific backing is not a viable solution. The key for good prevention lies in educating animal owners to ensure that dogs are in the right hands and in a suitable environment.’’ Mel-Lyna Cadieux, graduate in Applied Ethology, declares. We must solve the problem at the source, and thus not opt for the implementation of unjust restrictive measures applying specifically to certain breeds, but rather implement programs and necessary measures to prevent such problems.
The SPA Canada disagrees with the project to update the City of Dorval’s animal control laws and appeals to the city to review their position. The SPA Canada also wishes to ask the government to kickstart the reinforcement of other files on animal protection, often forgotten. In many cases, Bill 54, unanimously adopted in December 2015 to ensure adequate protection to domestic animals and certain wild animals, is not fully respected. Despite its enforcement, many people do not hesitate to continue their activities, endangering animals’ health. ‘’Let us remind ourselves of the report by Alain Roy in 2017 showing that rodeos exposent animals to painful wounds, be them physical or psychological. Illegal activities by law that continue to be practiced.’’ Dominique Routhier, Interim General Director and animal biologist for SPA Canada comments.
About SPA Canada:
SPA Canada is a national nonprofit animal rights organization dedicated to creating awareness and educating people on respecting all animal species.
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