The City of Montreal today joined a growing list of Canadian municipalities that have banned pit bulls or pit-bull-type dogs.
City council voted in favour of the controversial changes to its animal control bylaw, brought in following a fatal dog attack, with a final vote 37-23 for the ban.
“I have a responsibility as the mayor of Montreal to protect the citizens,” Mayor Denis Coderre said prior to the vote.
Current owners of pit bull-type dogs will be allowed to keep their animals, but must register them, insert microchips under their skins, have their dogs spayed or neutered, and must use a muzzle when taking them for a walk.
Dog owners who don’t comply with the new bylaw that comes into effect on Oct. 3 could see their canine companion euthanized.
Proponents of the new regulations argue they give priority to human safety over dog safety. They say pit bull bans in other jurisdictions have proven to decrease the number of severe dog bites.
“A Montreal woman died because someone didn’t have control of their dog,” said Anie Samson, the city executive committee member in charge of the animal file, referring to the mauling death of 55-year-old Christiane Vadnais last June.
Opponents of the bylaw say the new law would kill “innocent dogs without any improvement in public safety.”
“We are extremely disappointed with the council’s decision to adopt archaic bylaws that are proven to be ineffective,” Ewa Demianowicz, campaign manager for Humane Society International/Canada, told CBC News in a statement.
With files from CBC News