A debate over 'dangerous dog' bans

Dogs have been at the centre of some horrific stories from B.C. over the past few weeks. Would a ban on certain kinds of dogs put a stop to that? We convene a 180 debate to find out.
Rottweilers are among those dogs included in breed-specific legislation. (Associated Press)

Two people in British Columbia are recovering after they were attacked by dogs in recent weeks.

In Fort St. John, Robin Elgie, a 66-year-old heavy-duty mechanic and machine operator, was mauled after two dogs charged through an open door in his trailer home and killed his cat. The dogs, believed to be pit bulls, ripped and tore at Elgie's arms until RCMP officers arrived and put the animals down.

Shortly after that incident, 21-year-old Kati Mather was hospitalized after a Rottweiler-husky cross owned by her boyfriend attacked her and her 3 year-old nephew. Mather suffered more than 100 bites, a broken arm and a detached bicep.

The incidents have prompted Bill Tieleman to call for ban on dangerous dogs in B.C. Tieleman is a columnist for the Tyee and 24hrs Vancouver and recently wrote about the need for a dangerous dog ban. He argues banning pit bulls and Rottweilers would prevent the dogs capable of the most severe attacks from interacting with society.

Pit bulls and R ottweilers ....the two breeds are simply too dangerous to have on the streets without extraordinary precautions. Areas where pit bull bans have taken place resulted in no fatalities and a reduction in the number of serious maimings by dogs - Bill Tieleman

But not everyone agrees with Bill. 

Dawne Deeley questions the idea that some dogs are inherently dangerous. Deeley, the Western Canadian Director of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada, says public safety is also a concern for her, but she argues dangerous dogs are generally the result of an irresponsible owner and, contrary to popular belief, dangerous dogs can exist in every breed and breed cross. Instead of blanket bans, Deeley would like to see education, awareness, and stiffer penalties for owners and repeat offenders. 

- Dawne Deeley

Click on the play button above to hear the full debate.


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