Pit bull ban upheld by Ontario court
Of course that’s not true, but then neither is this: Pit bulls are dangerous and unpredictable dogs that have the potential to attack without warning.
That’s what the Ontario Court of Appeal said Friday in a decision upholding the province’s ban on pit bulls, enacted in 2005. It prohibits the breeding, sale and ownership of pit bulls and requires they be muzzled when in public.
The Appeal Court ruled Friday that the ban on the breed does not violate any constitutional rights.
“The total ban on pit bulls is not ‘arbitrary’ or ‘grossly disproportionate’ in light of the evidence that pit bulls have a tendency to be unpredictable and that even apparently docile pit bulls may attack without warning or provocation,” the judges said in their decision Friday.
Then they all put on their tuques, went to an ice hockey game and drank Molsons. Not really. The point is, you’d think a high court in a country so sensitive to negative stereotyping would give a little more thought and study to an issue rather just relying on stereotypes — namely the bogus one that all pit bulls are prone to unprovoked violence.
Yes, there are violent pit bulls (generally the fault of their owner) — just as there are nasty poodles and slow-witted Canadians, but blanket indictments based on perception aren’t progress. They’re the opposite — a step backwards. They get us nowhere.
Lawyer Clayton Ruby, who challenged the law, called it a “sad day” in Ontario. “Kind, loving, gentle dogs are being killed across this province for no reason,” he said in a statement, according to the Canadian Press.
“The provincial government should focus their efforts and resources on identifying truly dangerous dogs rather than apprehending and killing dogs that pose no threat at all,” he said.
Ruby said he is considering an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Jean-anne Moors of Banned Aid, a coalition fighting the ban, said the group was “very disappointed” with the ruling.
“I have three so-called pit bull-type dogs who are all legal under the law,” she said. “Everybody’s looking at me as if I’m some kind of criminal when I walk down the streets with my dogs. They have no history of aggression.”
Moors said the law sets a troubling precedent because it’s not just a pit bull issue.
“If a government … can make such an arbitrary decision that a dog is a bad and dangerous dog and seize it under certain circumstances and destroy it … that’s a matter of concern to anybody who has a dog – period.”
Posted by John Woestendiek October 25th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: attack, banned aid, breed specific legislation, breeds, canada, canadians, challenge, court of appeal, courts, dangerous, discrimination, dog, dogs, law, muzzles, ontario, pit bull, pit bull ban, pit bulls, stereotypes, stereotyping, upheld