Winnipeg “Pit Bull” advocates look to overturn 1990 ban
Editor’s note: Looks like Canada, along with all the rest of the world, is finally waking up to the fact that breed-specific legislation is costly, ineffective, and unenforceable.
From the Winnipeg Sun:
…After launching an e-mail campaign, advocates for ownership of the reputedly vicious dog breed are expected to urge a group of councillors Monday to repeal the municipal prohibition that began in 1990. Coun. Gord Steeves, who met with some of the pit bull supporters in December, says heâ€™ll listen with an open mind when they come before the protection and community services committee.
â€œThey have certain feelings on the breed, and feel that itâ€™s been unfairly treated over time with this ban,â€ said Steeves (St. Vital), the committeeâ€™s chairman. â€œItâ€™s probably fair that we have the discussion. And then we can ask our people to review it.â€Â
Winnipeg outlawed the breed after several highly publicized and horrific attacks by pit bulls that caused people severe injuries. The dogs have since continued to make headlines in Canada for such incidents, many of which have enraged the public.
But Winnipegâ€™s Melanie Schmidt, one of many to join a Facebook group advocating for the breed, said the cityâ€™s prohibition is a slippery slope.
â€œIt starts with pit bulls and eventually goes to other breeds,â€ said Schmidt, who doesnâ€™t own a dog. â€œItâ€™s all about responsible ownership.â€
Bill McDonald, executive director of the Winnipeg Humane Society, said outlawing ownership of a breed does no public good.
â€œItâ€™s all in the person who owns the dog and what theyâ€™re doing to train that dog,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™ve met dozens of delightful pit bulls. And you can train a cocker spaniel to hurt people.â€