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Opinion: Enough with the pit bull bans

The city of Montreal has passed a bylaw banning pit bulls, but Amil Niazi says it's a move that's completely out of step with evidence. She says North American cities are repealing pit bull bans because breed-specific bans have proven to be inconsequential at best, and at worst, destructive to dogs.
Bless, an American Pit Bull Terrier, is treated to a free grooming session at Pampered Pets in Montreal, Sunday, September 25, 2016. Montreal city council passed a bylaw that bans new pit bulls in the city. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)
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Are some dog breeds just too dangerous to be allowed in a city?

The Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, thinks so.

His city just passed a controversial bylaw banning pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs, after a Montreal woman was mauled to death by a dog in June.

Starting Monday, people will no longer be able to own any new pit bulls or pit bull-type dogs, and those currently in the city will be required to be sterilized and wear muzzles in public. Amil Niazi, an Associate Editor at Vice.com Canada, says the move is based on fear rather than fact. 

There's no evidence to prove that dog bites and attacks on humans are reduced by these kinds of bans. In Ontario, a pit bull ban has been in place since 2005 and in the city of Toronto dog bites have actually gone up in intervening years.- Amil Niazi

Niazi points out that other jurisdictions in North America are repealing their bans on pit bulls, and she says that's because breed-specific legislation has proven to be inconsequential at best, and at worst, destructive to dogs.

What is proven, is that under breed-specific bans, dogs are needlessly put down, harnessed and muzzled. Owners live in fear of seizure and euthanization.- Amil Niazi

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