Brossard to ban pit bulls and aggressive dog breeds
A Montreal suburb is going to ban pit bulls and other aggressive dogs.
The move comes after nine months after an eight-year-old girl was mauled and permanently injured in Brossard.
Mayor Paul Leduc said Tuesday that the south shore city has studied its animal control bylaw over the past six months and how it can be amended to deal with aggressive dogs.
He said Brossard will ban particular breeds of dogs deemed aggressive, which will include the class of dogs known as pit bulls: Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers, a hybrid of these breeds, a crossbred dog with substantial characteristics of a dog from the banned breeds and a dog deemed dangerous by the appropriate authority.
The ban will also apply to any hybrid or crossbreed that has the "substantial characteristics" of the banned breeds.
Authorities will also be able to ban any dog deemed dangerous following an analysis of its behaviour and condition.
"According to studies consulted by GTRAC, pit bulls are responsible for the vast majority of documented serious attacks," said Leduc.
Existing animals in the city will be allowed to remain as long as their owners meet strict criteria that includes having $250,000 in insurance, showing proof the owner and dog have passed an obedience course, and the dog will have to be microchipped.
The restricted breeds will also have to be muzzled every time they are off private property, and will not be allowed on dog runs.
The bylaw will also be amended to forbid dog owners from leaving their animals tied up outside for more than three hours at a time.
The GTRAC working group also recommended dogs be sterilized, and requiring all owners of dangerous dogs to post signs warning those entering their property of the risk.
Leduc said the bylaw will likely be passed at the council meeting on July 5, giving owners until Sept. 1, 2016 to comply.
Goal is to reduce maiming, not dog bites
The impetus for the change was the mauling of eight-year-old Vanessa Biron last September. Two pit bulls attacked her while she played in a park.
She underwent multiple surgeries, including having part of her jaw replaced, but part of her face remains paralyzed.
Ever since, her family has called for a ban on pit bulls.
"Some people will say statistics like, look at Ontario, the total number of dog bites didn't really go down. You need to compare apples to apples," said Bernard Biron.
He said those who focus only on dog bites are missing the point.
"They are dogs that for no reason will just jump to any stranger and jump on their throat. It's not just a dog bite," said Biron.
The point of banning particular breeds, he says, is reducing the number of maulings and deaths caused by dogs.
"These kinds of attacks went down in Ontario," said Biron, following that province's ban on pit bulls.
In the wake of that attack, the provincial government announced it would create a task force to examine banning pit bulls across Quebec.