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Monday, December 16, 2019

Petition to Repeal Breed Specific Legislation Hits Saugeen Shores

Saugeen Shores | by Megan Johnson  

Since 2005 if a dog is identified as a banned breed, or 'pit bull' they can be euthanized

(Editor's Note: the story has been corrected to say Lisa Thompson respects the right for MPP Nicholls to introduce Bill 147)

A Saugeen Shores woman has created a petition for Huron-Bruce to repeal the Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) when it comes to Pit Bulls.

Dog lover Tyler Higgins says when she moved to Canada the 2005 BSL required her family to find a new home for their beloved family pet because of the specific provisions which banned residents of Ontario from owning and breeding the the breed,

Under the Dog Owners' Liability Act, if a dog is identified as a banned breed, or 'pit bull' - which includes American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terriers - the dog could be transferred out of the province, euthanized even if the dog has no prior offences.

Earlier in the fall MPP Rick Nicholls brought forth a private members Bill 147 to alter the Act. Nicholls asked for support across the province in the form of petitions.

Higgins says while Nicholls saw 36 votes in favour of Bill 147 with 12 votes against, there were far more MPP's absent than were present, which is why she's still looking for local support.

Currently Higgins has two petitions in Port Elgin (Pet Valu and Unleash the Pawsitive) and looked for support from Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson.

Higgins says Thompson told her she does not support her petition because a family member had suffered a dog bite recently.

"The fact that our MPP made it clear that she will not listen to the constituents of her region due to a personal reason made me realizes the importance of starting a petition for our district," says Higgins.

Nicko Vavassis a rep for the Huron-Bruce MPP says Thompson respects MPP Nicholls' right to introduce Bill 147; however, the Minister will not be supporting the bill because a number of constituents raised concerns with the proposed legislation.

Higgins says in the past the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association blamed BSL for the unnecessary euthanasia of over 4,000 dogs; with some critics saying it targets specific breeds instead of irresponsible owners. 

"BSL has resulted in the unnecessary killing of thousands of innocent dogs and puppies, virtually none of whom had a history of violence against people or other animals."

The dog lover says anyone looking for more information can visit End the Ban.

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