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North Bay & District Humane Society

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Media Release on Breed Specific By-Law

The North Bay and District Humane Society has been in existence since 1954.  Its existence is due to the dedication and benevolence of Ms. Marjorie Wright...  The Society is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors that hails from a wide range of experiences but shares a love of, and a sense of responsibility for, animals.  We are responsible for animal control within the City of North Bay and the investigation and response to cases of animal cruelty within the District of Nippissing, and on occasion further a field.
The current proposed ban by the provincial government of a specific
breed, pit bulls, bears comment.  We, as a society, believe the proposed ban is ill founded.  The problem of aggressive "pit bulls" is due to bad breeding, failure to spay and neuter, poor training and socialization, improper pet acquisition and more importantly owners who are simply irresponsible.  We say let irresponsible dog owners pay with the increased penalties under the Dog Owners Liability Act, which are proposed.  Also, practical problems arise over identifying the specific breed that is subject to the ban.  In an increasing litigious society, in our view, this identification is next to impossible. Could the
subjectivity of the exercise lead to a future ban on roving packs of
killer chihuahuas?
Should our legislators wish to address an animal issue, we strongly urge the federal government to move forward with amendments to our animal cruelty legislation.  These laws have not been amended since 1892 and do not reflect how society views animals. Our elected parliament has first introduced amending legislation, that has the support of a wide variety of lobby groups, in 1999. The new legislation will allow for increased penalties and allow for restitution to Humane Societies and animal cruelty organizations who bear the brunt of the costs in enforcing these matters.
This legislation has been stalled by an unelected senate since that
time. It is unfortunate that this issue is not serious enough for most
Canadians, to cause a review of how the unelected senate serves our
George Berrigan
For the Directors
North Bay and District Humane Society.

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