Toronto

Humane society says new law doesn't nip dog bites

The Toronto Humane Society says there has been little change in the number of dog bites in Ontario since a pit bull law took effect in 2005.

The Toronto Humane Society says there has been little change in the number of dog bites in Ontario since a pit bull law took effect in 2005.

The law placed several restrictions on the breed to reduce what then-attorney general Michael Bryant called "menacing dogs."

Among other things, the law requires leashes and muzzles on pit bulls in public places and mandatory neutering and spaying of existing pit bulls.

Bryant also said the legislation would make streets safer, but the Humane Society says it has failed to do so.

It says there were 5,428 reported dog bites in a sampling of 17 Ontario municipalities in 2005 when the law took effect.

In the years since that number changed only slightly, the society says, with 5,345 recorded bites last year.

The society maintains dogs are not born violent but are made that way by irresponsible owners.

"If we want to reduce the number of dog bites we have to address the root cause of the problem, those irresponsible owners who do not appropriately care for their animals," said spokesman Ian McConachie.

 

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