Martin Coiteux, the Quebec Minister of Public Security, under the leadership of Philippe Couillard (PLQ), has introduced draft legislation that would give the government new powers to impose restrictions on certain dogs and their owners, including bans on specific breeds. Bill no 128, an Act to promote the protection of persons by establishing a framework with regard to dogs, specifically targets pit bull type dogs and Rottweilers, as well as crosses of those breeds.
Without scientific basis, the legislation arbitrarily declares these breeds as “potentially dangerous.” Regulations restricting the ownership of these breeds may be introduced later and the government announced its intention to eventually ban pit bull-type dogs.
The Quebec government is currently accepting comments from the public on Bill no 128. We strongly encourage all Quebecers to take action and fill out this form. Below are the key elements to include in your comments, but please feel free to personalize your submission!
1) BSL doesn’t work and is an ineffective measure. There is no documented data to support BSL, and no jurisdiction with BSL has ever been able to demonstrate an increase in public safety or a significant reduction in dog bites or attacks. Twenty US states prohibit breed-specific laws.
2) Experts do not support BSL. All of the major veterinarian associations in North America, including the Ordre des Médecins Vétérinaires du Québec (OMVQ), the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, have agreed that BSL is ineffective and has no basis in science.
3) BSL is a waste of public funds. Breed-based laws are not only ineffective, they are also costly to enforce and add to an already overburdened and under-resourced animal services system.
4) BSL has catastrophic consequences. Dogs that are behaviorally sound and healthy will have to be euthanized in shelters across the province based only on their appearance. Current owners of banned breeds will face discrimination and families won’t be able to move to Quebec should they own prohibited dogs.
5) Breed-neutral legislation is the key. Proper enforcement of laws that apply to all dog owners regardless of breed and access to pet services such as low cost spay/neuter and education have effectively reduced dog bites and attacks in other jurisdictions, like Calgary.
Speak out for dogs! Please submit your comment directly to the government.