Hamilton, Ontario Admits Ontario’s “Pit Bull” Ban Not Working

Eight years after the Dog Owners’ Liability Act (DOLA) was passed in 2005 which banned so-called “pit bulls,” Hamilton, Ontario has admitted that “dog owners are getting around [Ontario’s] ban by registering their pets as another breed ” or not registering them at all.”   Hamilton’s Animal Control Supervisor Jim Gillis acknowledged,

“The fact that pit bull-type dogs, six years of age and under, still find their way into the shelter indicates that there are people out there breeding pit bulls and selling them…”

In fact, Gary White, an admitted former dog fighter in the province noted that,

“The only thing that ban did was increase the value of (pit bulls) from $1,000 to $5,000.”

In other words, Ontario’s breed-specific legislation (BSL) is, as White claimed, “useless” and worse, actually promotes animal cruelty by making the banned breeds that much more attractive to the very individuals — dog fighters — whom you don’t want owning them.

Yet it was well known that BSL is useless well before Ontario passed its “pit bull” ban in 2005.   For instance, it has been widely reported for years that the UKs breed-specific law, the Dangerous Dogs Act, which has been instituted since 1991, has been an utter failure as there has been a huge rise in banned dog breeds.   The BBC noted that, “the number of banned dogs used for fighting, then abandoned, is soaring.”

Toronto itself backed up the claim that BSL doesn’t   reduce dog bites when in May 2010, the Toronto Humane Society released statistics from a survey they conducted which showed that “the number of dog bites in Ontario had changed little” since Ontarios 2005 ban on pit bull breeds was instituted.

The findings that breed-specific laws are ineffective and unenforceable is nothing new, and yet even when proven wrong, some municipalities (and provinces apparently), refuse to seek more effective legislation like non-breed-specific dangerous dog (owner) laws.   Why?  


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11 responses to “Hamilton, Ontario Admits Ontario’s “Pit Bull” Ban Not Working”

  1. There should never have been a ban on pit bulls. The WRONG END OF THE LEASH is being punished!! Get rid of this ridiculous law and put in very tough animal rights laws!!! Jail, HUGE fines (minimum $20, 000), and a lifetime ban against owning ANY animal a criminal record. Put the responsibility and punishment where it belongs!

  2. it’s just another way the government is showing how back-asswards they are, sticking their noses in the wrong places. how about putting more effort into the things that you should be concentrating on like the unemployment crisis?

  3. The reason why, is simple. Arrogance! They are too proud and too arrogant to even believe they are wrong, never mind changing the law. The media has taught them to hate ˜pitbull type dogs, and no amount of evidence provided will change their minds. The only option is to vote in politicians that will make dog laws based on fact and not emotion or personal opinion.

  4. The ban was absurd from the beginning and we, the people, as well as the professionals and many advocates who were fighting on behalf of our dogs had much evidence which opposed the ban.. All pertinent information was ignored and not discussed.

    When we finally start making a difference and get it back into a third reading it is dismissed so quickly without enough discussion or interest in all the evidence that proves it is not a public safety concern. We do not carry the same statistics as USA, this needs to be addressed!

    Bring Back The Bulls! http://www.randyhilliermpp.com/bill16

    There is no real credible evidence that supports such a ban & identification leaves many other dog breeds susceptible.

    Breed specific legislation has no effect on ‘public safety’..nor does it affect people who take dogs for breeding or dog fighting purposes..

  5. No law works unless it is enforced and Hamilton makes no attempt to enforce the pit bull ban. Miami-Dade, Florida, does enforce its pit bull ban and it has been working just fine since 1989.

  6. In case you all missed it, lee77 appears to be one of the Dogsbite.org disinformers who come out to tell only half-truths. I was wondering when they were going to get here. But unlike the Dogsbite.org ilk, I won’t block your half-truth comments to this site lee77; I’ll just simply refute them.

    BSL isn’t a matter of enforcement because it can’t be enforced as Hamilton, Ontario has shown. Heck the U.K. has banned many breeds of dog since 1991, and there has been a HUGE rise in banned dog breeds, particularly with the number of banned dogs used for fighting, then abandoned, soaring. And while a city is trying to enforce an unenforceable breed-specific law, other dangerous dog owners slip through the cracks as evidenced by the fact that a days-old infant was recently mauled to death in the U.K. by a Jack Russell Terrier.

    And really? You’re going to cite Miami-Dade County as a supposed BSL success story? The same Miami-Dade County that, like Denver, has reported higher dog bite-related hospitalizations despite having BSL in place since 1989?

    Again, BSL is unenforceable with too much of Animal Control’s time being wasted trying to enforce an unenforceable law. Meanwhile, and as Denver and Miami-Dade have shown, dog bites tend to go up in BSL cities and counties because Animal Control isn’t policing other owners of other breeds who are just as likely to be irresponsible with their dogs.

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