News Views: Ban the breed

Ontario has banned pit bulls, and it works, no need for killer dogs

A pit bull had to be killed to free its grip on the arm of a 15-year-old newspaper carrier in Maple Ridge two weeks ago.

A week later, a pit bull killed a Pomeranian in Pitt Meadows.

A year prior, a different pit bull killed another small dog in Pitt Meadows.

The more recent events reignited a call to ban pit bulls in B.C., as was done 10 years ago in Ontario.

Since, reported pit bull bites have dropped, from 168 in the last year before the ban to 13 in 2014.

The Ontario legislation forbids the breeding and importation of pit bulls and associated breeds. It requires them to be neutered, and to  be leashed and muzzled in public.

Any dog can bite. But not all of them need to have their throats cut just to let go.

The damage pit bulls can and do inflict is far greater than that of most other breeds, and as Ontario’s stats showed, they do so more often.

Before the ban in Ontario, the bite rate of pit bulls was twice as high as the second most aggressive breed – German shepherds.

Even responsible owners can’t always prevent pit bulls from attacking.

We don’t expect pit bull defenders to quit campaigning in support of their beloved pets.

But the data on banning the breed is compelling.

Dangerous dog bylaws don’t prevent attacks.

And contrary to the SPCA’s view, we think it’s easier to control the breed than trying to influence pit bull owners.

Anything that reduces such vicious attacks, as witnessed locally, is welcome.

Safety first.

– The News