Sample Letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty
SUPPORT BILL 16 (against Breed Specific Legislation)
If you live in Ontario and would like to see Breed Specific Legislation repealled, you can use the form letter below. To personalize your letter, you can visit the Dog Legislation Council of Canada web site at: www.dlcc.ca
Premier Legislative Building
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Dear Premier McGuinty,
While the public must be protected from dangerous dogs, breed specific legislation is inhumane, ineffective and is more about public relations than protecting Ontario’s citizens.
Sadly, the resulting pit bull ban has increased the number of innocent dogs being put down, while dangerous dogs of other breeds go undetected.
Irresponsible owners, not dogs are the problem. We need to hold the owners of dogs that do attack accountable – animal control laws should focus on people, not breeds.
As in people, violent behaviour is an individual characteristic. Gone are the days (one hopes) when people are automatically assumed guilty because of their looks. Politicians apparently haven’t reached that stage with dogs.
Right now three MPPs — a Liberal, Conservative and NDP — have a private members bill (Bill 16) to rescind the pit bull ban. Conservative Randy Hiller, co-sponsored by the NDP’s Cheri DiNova and Liberal Kim Craitor, want the breed specific aspects of the legislation repealed. I ask that you allow your caucus members to have a free vote on Bill 16 and vote with their conscience, not with their party.
Many experts, including the Ontario Humane Society, Ontario Veterinary Medical Association and The Canadian Kennel Club oppose the pit bull ban and have stated that breed specific legislation is not effective .
First, breed-specific dog bans are not an effective way to deal with dangerous dogs in Ontario, specifically because research shows that numerous breeds are reported each year in attack and fatality reports.
Second, the current legislation has resulted in the unnecessary euthanasia of over 1,000 dogs and puppies in Ontario. Many of these had no history of violence against people or other animals.
Third, research clearly shows that a more effective approach to dealing with dangerous dogs is improving bite prevention education and implementing non-breed-specific dangerous dog laws, enacted to place the primary responsibility for a dog’s behaviour on the owner, regardless of the dog’s breed; in particular, targeting irresponsible dog owners.
There is a lot you can do to protect Ontarians from dog bites. Please focus on what works and not on what doesn’t. Please allow your caucus to have a free vote on Bill 16, to repeal the breed specific sections of the Dangerous Dog Act.