January 21, 2011
To ban or not to ban
Should Kamloops ban pit bulls? It’s a question that city councillors may be faced with after the recent attack by three dogs on a man walking his his pet near Pioneer Park. For answers, we can look to Ontario, which has had a ban in place since 2005.
You’d think six years would be ample time for a law to have some kind of effect, whether good or bad. But a report from the Humane Society in November shows there has been no significant drop in dog bite cases during that time. Since Ontario passed Breed Specific Legislation, “countless” pit bulls and related Staffordshire Terriers have been destroyed.
Here’s what Humane Society spokesman Ian McConachie had to say: “Dogs are not born violent.” Instead, they are “made that way by irresponsible owners who train them to be that way or neglect them and they develop behavioural problems.
“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.”
I tend to agree with him. But the main problem with this approach is that we often don’t know if an owner has been irresponsible until after an attack. It would be virtually impossible to check on every dog owner in the city to ensure they are taking proper care of their pet.
If the issue does come before council, I don’t envy their task in sorting it out. This matter is about as emotional as it gets.