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Old February 10th, 2005, 12:33 AM
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trescanis trescanis is offline
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Exclamation Dangerous dog legislation NOT Breed Ban

WESTCOAST NEWS
City wants to get tough with dangerous dogs
Staff calls on province to give municipalities more power to deal with problem pets

Krisendra Bisetty
Vancouver Sun

February 9, 2005

VANCOUVER - The City of Vancouver is proposing a crackdown on vicious dogs, calling for tighter regulations, an education campaign and higher fines for owners of dogs that attack people, but stopping short of an outright ban on pit bulls.

City staff also want the province to look into the feasibility of passing legislation to deal with vicious or dangerous dogs provincewide, including giving municipalities more effective and comprehensive powers.

The recommendations, contained in a report compiled by the office of the city's chief licence inspector, will go before councillors on Feb. 17.

It comes after several horrific attacks by vicious dogs in the Lower Mainland.

In 2002, Vancouver teenager Shenica White was attacked by two mastiff Rottweiler cross dogs as she and a friend were returning to a slumber party after walking a friend home. White had to have surgery to repair deep wounds to her face and scalp.

In December 2004, three-year-old Maple Ridge boy Cody Fontaine was mauled to death by three Rottweilers that were being kept inside a house.

The city's strategy also calls for increased enforcement, new penalties, such as for failing to control a vicious dog, and higher licence fees. Vicious dogs will also have micro-chips or tattoos to identify them as such and may have to be spayed or neutered, if the proposal wins council support.

"It's going to go a long way in dealing with problem dogs on the street," Vancouver Coun. Tim Stevenson said in an interview Tuesday.

The proposal will please a lot of people, except for those seeking a ban on pit bulls, said Stevenson, who will be urging other councillors to support it. "It has really struck a good balance."

After researching legislation and regulatory measures to protect people from dangerous dogs in other Canadian and international jurisdictions, the report says a ban on any new pit bulls in Vancouver would have limited effectiveness.

The city also has insufficient authority under the Vancouver Charter to address some of the key regulatory and enforcement issues involved if a ban is imposed.

Moreover, because pit bulls are difficult to identify, the implementation of a ban could be costly in both time and money and would be open to legal challenge, the report says.

A pit bull ban would also not address the concern over the proliferation of other large dogs with a vicious reputation.

While the city has no statistics on the number of resident pit bulls, it says the overall number of bitings for all dogs in 2004 was 181, a drop of 45 from the previous year.

Saskatchewan is the only Canadian province with province-wide dangerous dog legislation, although certain municipalities in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia have enacted pit bull bans.

In Vancouver, any of five pit bull breeds and cross breeds are automatically considered a vicious dog under the Animal Control ByLaw. Two bylaw regulations pertain specifically to vicious dogs, including the requirement for these animals to be muzzled when out in public and securely confined either indoors or in an enclosed pen when on private property.

Offenders are liable to a fine of not less than $200.

The new proposal would increase the fines to an unspecified amount. Owners would have to inform appropriate authorities of any change in the status of their dog that might affect public health and safety, including if it is on the loose, has attacked another animal or a human being or has died, been sold or given away. They would also be required to show proof of at least $1 million in liability insurance.

Stevenson said the report is a comprehensive one that will no doubt cost taxpayers money if its recommendations are implemented. But if the increased enforcement, education and tighter regulations lead to a decrease in attacks, it would be worth it, he said.

© The Vancouver Sun 2005

Trescanis
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Old February 10th, 2005, 11:09 PM
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Natasa Natasa is offline
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more BSL

Sure this is better than an outright ban, but this is in no way dangerous DOG legislation.

Considering that APBT, AST, SBT and their crosses are the only breeds considered vicious in Vancouver (and an occasional dog with bite history) this imo is only strengthening of already existing BSL. They are adding higher license fees, insurance requirements and overall more restrictions in addition to already existing (but not enforced) leash and muzzle law for pit bull type dogs.

I definitely don’t see this as a good thing or a step in the right direction. If they want to do a real “dangerous dog” legislation, they will treat each dog as an individual dog and not base it on their breed.
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Old February 12th, 2005, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natasa
I definitely don’t see this as a good thing or a step in the right direction. If they want to do a real “dangerous dog” legislation, they will treat each dog as an individual dog and not base it on their breed.
Nowhere in that article does it say the legislation only applies to PB type dogs.

It sounds like a reasonable way to balance public health and safety with individual dog owner rights. Irresponsible dumbasses with dangerous dogs need to be held accountable for their actions.
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Old February 12th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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twodogsandacat twodogsandacat is offline
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Maybe it's not in the article but yes they are restricted - not banned. I believe new ones can even be brought in but all the conditions must apply. I could be wrong on that but that's how I perceived it. Restricted - not banned.

Vicious dogs are required to be muzzled when in public. 'Pit Bulls', American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or a cross of one of the aforementioned breeds are automatically considered vicious.
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Old February 12th, 2005, 08:55 PM
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Natasa Natasa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trescanis
In Vancouver, any of five pit bull breeds and cross breeds are automatically considered a vicious dog under the Animal Control ByLaw.

Trescanis
Yes, pit bull type dogs are already considered vicious in Vancouver. They are supposed to be leashed and muzzled in public, but so far this hasn’t been enforced at all.
With this new dangerous “dog” law, without having done anything or acted in menacing manner they will have to be, in addition to having escape proof enclosure when out on their own property, much higher license fees, a 1 million liability insurance and so on.
Hardly dangerous “dog” law, I think. Seems more like tougher BSL. Nothing to be happy about, especially for us that have one of those “vicious” breeds that haven’t done anything.

Some people feel I shouldn’t criticize this new law too much and that we are lucky there is no ban and with everything that’s going on in Ontario, but really there is little to be happy about this new law, imo.
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Old February 12th, 2005, 09:00 PM
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I agree with you Natasa, it sounded good in the begining but why are they so freaked out abut pit bull types when these serious bite incidents were all done other breeds? Is this all new legislation or were pits restricted before, you say there was a muzzling order but it was not enforced. Were there legal challenges?
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Old February 12th, 2005, 09:12 PM
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Natasa Natasa is offline
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There was no legal challenge as far as I know. Our AC just never enforces it.
As far as know Vancouver BSL started about 15 years ago (after a much publicized attack of course) and it was enforced at that time, but not in the last 5-6 years at least.
We’ll see what happens if this new BSL passes and if they will start again.
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