Manitoba

'No breed is more aggressive than any other': Group fights for pit bull ban lift

On Saturday, Ashley Reid arrived at the Manitoba Legislative Building with a well-prepared, clear message: "We are fighting to get breed-specific legislation (BSL) lifted in the city."

'BSL is outdated and ineffective and it is time for a change,' protest organizer Ashley Reid said on Saturday

A small dog at the Manitoba Legislature Building for the protest against breed-specific legislation on Saturday. (James Rinn/CBC)

On Saturday, Ashley Reid arrived at the Manitoba Legislative Building with a well-prepared, clear message: "We are fighting to get breed-specific legislation (BSL) lifted in the city."

By "we," Reid was referring to around 15 Winnipeg pit bull lovers standing on the grass before her, many with signs protesting BSL in one hand and leashes connected to dogs of all sizes in the other.

Ashley Reid organized Saturday's protest, where she said no dog breed is any more aggressive than another and breed-specific legislation is ineffective. (James Rinn/CBC)

According to Reid, who organized the protest, the group's objective is to raise public awareness about the pit bull ban, which covers three breeds — The American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier — and has been in effect in Winnipeg for more than 25 years.

"No breed is more aggressive than any other," Reid said to the small crowd.

"Evidence shows that regardless of breed, aggressive dogs are often troubled dogs — running loose; tethered in the yard, under-socialized, under-stimulated and trained to be a guard or fighting dog."

Around 15 people gathered on Saturday at the Manitoba Legislature Building to publicly fight against breed specific legislation. (James Rinn/CBC)

Reid also said the ban is inherently problematic because it takes the onus and responsibility off of dog owners and "wrongly punishes dogs based on looks instead of behavior."

"According to city officials, this by-law was designed to keep communities safe after a series of dog incidents in previous years," she said, adding it has not reduced the number of bites and dog attacks in Winnipeg.

A number of people held signs in one hand and leashes with dogs of all sizes on the end of them in the other. (James Rinn/CBC)

"BSL is outdated and ineffective and it is time for a change."

Despite the group's efforts, the City of Winnipeg has given no indication it plans to lift the ban.

with files from James Rinn

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