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Goldwater, Dubé applauds the government of Quebec for backing away from a "pit bull" ban

MONTRÉAL (June 5, 2018) – Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux announced this morning that there would be no ban in Quebec for “pit bull” type dogs.

Instead, Coiteux said the government will work with opposition parties to find a consensus solution for regulating dogs that could pose a danger to the public.

Goldwater, Dubé would like to applaud the Minister for hearing out all stakeholders on the issue, including industry experts, dog owners and victims.

Here are comments Martin Coiteux made this morning at the National Assembly:

“There is no scientific consensus. There isn’t even scientific corroboration that suggests going so far as to designate and ban certain races would be something that could be practically executed. When we create laws, they have to be based on objective facts… In Ontario, the city of Ottawa, that had to apply a (provincial) pit bull ban, is telling us ‘we’re not doing it; we aren’t able to do it. It’s impossible to do it.’ When veterinarians tell us that it’s impossible, when the scientific community tells us it’s impossible, I think we have to be sensitive to that.”

We would like to again express our sympathies to the family of Christiane Vadnais, a Montreal woman killed by a dog authorities believed to be a “pit bull” type. With all due respect to all victims of violence, more objective analyses of animal welfare regulations in Quebec by industry experts suggested humane laws that place emphasis on owner responsibility over the animal’s race would lead to fewer such incidents.

As legal director of the Coalition pour la promotion de la sécurité des personnes et des chiens (CPSPC), Me Anne-France Goldwater testified at the National Assembly in March, pleading with the government to reject breed-specific legislation (BSL). It was, in fact, the Coalition’s first recommendation.

You can consult the full memoire by Goldwater, Dubé (169 pages) .

The Coalition also recommended that an animal welfare law should include provisions that would compel owners of dogs deemed dangerous to the public to use muzzles and face fines or even confiscation of the animal for failure to respect safety regulations. New rules should also include the creation of a registry for dog bites and a mandatory safety course for owners before the adoption or purchase of a dog.

By focusing on education, awareness and prevention, following the city of Calgary’s widely-praised model, Quebecers will be better protected from dog owners who fail to socialize their pets.

Goldwater, Dubé would like to congratulate their clients, over 600 families with adopted dogs in the city of Montreal who challenged the former Mayor’s attempts to enact ineffective breed-specific legislation at the municipal level.