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SPCA Media Release re Ban

October 28th, 2004, 12:53 PM
I just received this:

Media Release

from the
Ontario SPCA
(Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
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Bill to ban pit bulls
ineffective, unfair and inhumane

Newmarket, Ont. (28 October, 2004) -
The Ontario SPCA is appalled by the Attorney General's failure to grasp the
opportunity to introduce measures that would truly protect Ontarians from dangerous
dogs, while instead proposing legislation that will result in the killing of large
numbers, even thousands, of innocent pets. The Society is also angered by the
cavalier and illogical dismissal of most of the recommendations it has made to the
Attorney General.

"The new Bill short-changes everyone, in our opinion," said Ontario SPCA Chief
Executive Officer Judy Marshall. "The Society remains opposed to a breed specific
ban. The problem of aggression is not restricted to any specific breed and a much
wider strategy is needed to deal with the more fundamental factors which create and
perpetuate dog aggression. We all want to be protected from dangerous dogs. There is
so much missing from this Bill that would truly advance public safety - measures
that would effectively address irresponsible breeding, deliberate breeding for
aggression and irresponsible ownership, for example. Yet again, apart from stiffer
penalties under the Dog Owners' Liability Act, all of the recommendations of the
Coroners Jury which followed the tragic death of Courtney Trempe in 1998 from a dog
attack (not a pit bull) have also been ignored."

The Society is dismayed by the nonsensical dismissal of some of its recommendations.
"The Bill makes it an offence to train a pit bull for fighting, for example,"
comments Chief Inspector Mike Draper. "The Society had recommended that it should be
an offence to train any dog for fighting. We were told by the Ministry of the
Attorney General that the reason this was not included is that it is an animal
welfare issue and therefore not within the scope of the Bill. That is completely
illogical, as any dog trained for fighting is a risk to safety. Other
recommendations were ignored on the grounds that the Bill is simply a 'legislative
framework' for the municipalities and the already overburdened courts to interpret
and implement. Yet it is very specific in many areas"

"We can understand why someone who has been attacked by a pit bull would think
otherwise but, despite the language continually used by the Attorney General, it is
simply not true that all pit bulls are "beasts" that "haunt the streets," said
Marshall. "The Ontario SPCA has a policy of not adopting out aggressive dogs under
any circumstances, but it is inevitable that large numbers of friendly,
non-aggressive dogs that are, or resemble pit bulls, will end up in shelters and be
unadoptable as a result of this legislation. Shelters may be forced to kill perhaps
thousands of healthy, friendly dogs. This is simply not acceptable to us or, I'm
sure, to any other animal welfare organization."

The Ontario SPCA will be joining with its affiliated humane societies throughout the
province to continue its opposition to the proposed legislation and to promote more
effective, fair and humane measures that will enhance the safety of all Ontarians.

For media enquiries, please call: Brian Pemberton, Director of Communications
1-888-ONT-SPCA (668-7722) extension 308,

A word about the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario
The Ontario SPCA, with 27 Branches and 31 affiliated humane societies and SPCA's, is
unique amongst animal welfare organizations in Ontario: the Ontario SPCA Act
mandates the Society to enforce animal cruelty laws and provides Society
investigators with police powers to do so.
The Society is a registered charity, relying on donations to fund animal protection,
care and rehabilitation for all animals, government and industry advocacy and public
The Ontario SPCA is a member of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS)
and is affiliated with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Charitable Business Number 88969 1044 RR0002

October 28th, 2004, 01:10 PM
This is probably a stupid question but that means they have sent that statement to media organizations? Or did they just release it on there site. Just want to know if we should be sending this to the media or if it is already sent?

October 28th, 2004, 01:21 PM
Send it anyways, just in case.