The Canadian Kennel Club

The Canadian Kennel Club

February 18, 2005 10:00 ET

Canadian Kennel Club spearheads call for free vote on Bill 132

After 4 days of public hearings and input from experts Bill 132 moves forward to third reading with little regard for the expertise provided. Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor ETOBICOKE, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 18, 2005) - The Canadian Kennel Club has spearheaded a call for a free vote on
Bill 132 in Ontario. After 4 days of public hearings and input from experts this bill moves forward to third reading with little regard for the expertise provided.

The following letter and background information has been forwarded to Premier Dalton McGuinty and been signed by organizations representing over 500,000 experts who will support the reintroduction of a Bill written to enforce Dangerous Dog rather than Breed Specific Legislation
OPEN LETTER TO PREMIER DALTON McGUINTY

Dear Premier,
We the undersigned represent more than 500,000 canine experts.
In a well-intentioned attempt to rid some urban streets of dangerous dogs, Bill 132 was hastily unleashed, without taking into account the significant expert input and advice received at your round table discussions last fall.
As a result, there were public hearings. More than 40 credible organizations, and an equal number of Ontario citizens, spoke to the Legislative Committee. All agreed Bill 132 is unworkable, unenforceable and unfair. In an apparent attempt to apprehend the dangerous dogs favoured by the criminal element, Bill 132 will potentially catch thousands of innocent family pets in its broad net.

We ask you to condemn a dangerous dog for its temperament, and not its body shape.
We ask you to deal with irresponsible ownership.
We ask you to reconsider this proposed legislation.

The experts agree that Dangerous Dog Legislation (such as the Calgary model) is already written, is effective, and will convict dangerous dogs of any breed or type. It also deals with their irresponsible human owners.
"Pit bulls" are a transitory urban issue.
Surely every Ontarian, urban or rural, should have the right to own and love any good natured family pet without fear of government intervention?

We ask that you fulfill your election promise and permit your MPP's a free vote on Bill 132.If common sense prevails and it is defeated, we will enthusiastically support the reintroduction of a Bill written to enforce Dangerous Dog rather than Breed Specific Legislation.

Sincerely,
The Canadian Kennel Club - 25,000 members, The Corporation of the City of Mississauga,
The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies- 400,000 members, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association- 3,000 members, Dr.B.Beaver, Chair of the Task force on Canine Aggression and Human Interaction of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Association of Animal Shelter Administrators of Ontario-100 members, Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada-139 members, Canadian Dog Judges Associasion-248 members, Dog Legislation Council of Canada-504 members, National Capital Coalition for People and Dogs-400 members, Human Animal Bond Association of Canada-300 members, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada- 530 members, Cat and Jack K9 Safety Program-8 members, American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada-40 members, North American Fly ball Association-5,000 members,Bracebridge Animal Hospital, Robin Summerly (Summerly Computer Systems),Ottawa Kennel Club, Georgina Kennel and Obedience Club-30 members, Labrador Owners Club- 262 members, Barrie Kennel And Obedience Club- 20 members,Nipissing Kennel Club, Banned Aid Coalition, Golden Horseshoe APBT Club-50 members, Advocates for the Underdog -500 members, American Dog Breeders Association, Rottweiller Club of Canada

Reducing the Incidence of Dog Bites and Attacks:
Do Breed Bans Work?
This document reflects expertise from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Kennel Club and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada. They are members of the National Companion Animal Coalition (NCAC), which was created in 1996 to promote responsible pet ownership and enhance the health and well being of companion animals.

The National Companion Animal Coalition does not support breed-specific bans as an effective tool to protect the public from vicious or dangerous dogs.

There are several reasons why breed-specific bans are problematic:
• There is no objective method of establishing lineage of cross bred dogs or dogs which are not registered with a national kennel club. In addition, many municipalities do not have access to qualified persons that could accurately perform breed identification. • Dangerous dogs may exist in everybreed and breed cross.
• Dangerous temperament and behaviour are products of many factors other than just breed.
• This type of ban will result in exclusion of some dangerous dogs, and inclusion of dogs that are not dangerous.
• The incidence of dog bites has not been shown to be reduced by restricting the ownership of certain dog breeds.

The NCAC recognizes that dangerous dogs are a product of one or more of the following:
• Inappropriate breed choice for owner lifestyle.
• Lack of appropriate training and socialization.
• Genetic makeup as a result of inappropriate breeding practices or intentional breeding for aggressive traits.
• Lack of proper exercise and interaction with other people and animals.
• Mistreatment.
• Failure to spay/neuter.

The NCAC's recommendations to municipalities 2 regarding dangerous or vicious dogs are to use:
• Significant fines for owners of dogs that are involved in a bite incident.
• Well-established guidelines for professional temperament assessment of a dog as dangerous or vicious. Banning of specific breeds is not recommended because of the difficulty in identifying the genetic origin of many dogs.
• A protocol to deal with dogs that have been professionally assessed as dangerous or vicious (eg. euthanasia or confinement).
• Significant incentives for owners to spay/neuter, socialize, and train their pets.
• Confinement laws such as: leash laws, running at large laws, property confinement laws, use of muzzles.
• Public awareness and education programs promoting responsible pet ownership.

The NCAC supports responsible pet ownership by encouraging owners to:
• Choose an appropriate breed or breed cross for the owner's lifestyle and ability to provide for the needs of their dog.
• Enroll themselves and their dogs in basic training and obedience classes.
• Provide physical exercise and mental stimulation appropriate to the selected breed.
• Provide proper food, water and shelter.
• Provide proper veterinary care.
• Spay/neuter their pets.

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Contact Information

  • Sonny Allinson, Manager Communications Department
    Primary Phone: 416-675-5511 ext. 3317
    E-mail: sallinson@ckc.ca