Thursday, October 6, 2016

Judge Suspends Montreal Pit Bull Ban Indefinitely

Sophie Gaillard, a lawyer for the SPCA, said the ruling is “a great victory, but the fight is far from over.” It will probably be a few months before a hearing can be held on the SPCA’s full legal appeal to have sections of the bylaw retracted, she said.

“We know, thanks to scientific research, that behaviour is unrelated to physical appearance,” Gaillard said. “What leads dogs to develop aggressive behaviour is not at all their breed, but it’s the way they’re treated, whether they’re sterilized or not, how they’re trained.”

Before the ruling came down, Coderre defended the bylaw, saying Montreal took a balanced approach to the issue in order to protect the public.

“We need to protect the people, not only when you walk with the dog, when you live with the dog,” Coderre told reporters Wednesday. “You can send me all the emails you want, I’m here to protect the population.”

City councillor Sterling Downey, a spokesperson for the opposition Projet Montréal, said the ruling proves the bylaw was rushed and poorly conceived.

“It was full of holes everywhere,” he said. “A bylaw (should) be drafted and written based on facts, science and expert opinion,” he said. “If you want to do something responsibly, then take the time to do it. This is the mayor saying, ‘Do it now, I want it immediately.’

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