In some areas of the world, banning pit bulls as pets makes a great deal of sense.
In the city of Montreal, lawmakers recently passed a bill that will ban pit bulls from the homes of civilians, according to Dog Storyy.
On Sept. 27, the vote passed 37-23 in favor of the ban, according to CBC News. The law will go into effect Oct. 3, but existing owners of pit bulls will be given a permit to keep their dogs until the end of 2016.
“My duty as mayor of Montreal is making sure I am working for all Montrealers,” Mayor Denis Coderre told CBC. “And I am there to make sure they feel safe and that they are safe.”
If this is, in fact, Mayor Coderre’s goal, banning pit bulls as pets is a step in the right direction.
The city’s decision was made in the wake of a tragic pit bull attack in Montreal. Christiane Vadnais, 55, died after being mauled by a pit bull.
The attack struck fear in many civilians, leading City Executive Committee member Anie Samson to advocate for the new law.
“A Montreal woman died because someone didn't have control of their dog,” she said. As the committee member in charge of the animal file, Samson agrees that human safety needs to be placed at the top of the priority list for Montreal lawmakers.
Though many lawmakers are happy to see the ban go into effect, some civilians are displeased with the new law.
“Ignorance...pitbulls are some of the sweetest breeds...[it’s] the fault of the owners,” commented one reader on Dog Storyy’s post about the new law.
Those strongly against the law in Montreal have chosen to express their feelings through Opposition Project Montréal.
“This is going to create a bigger problem than a solution,” said Coun. Sterling Downey, according to the CBC.
While Downey is correct in recognizing that the release of pit bulls across Montreal’s 19 boroughs will not be easy, the project’s outcome will have a more positive than negative effect.
As protectors of the city, Mayor Coderre and his administration had a duty to respond to the attack of Ms. Vadnais with action. The new law is an effective and legitimate response.
Though pit bulls make up 6% of the world’s dog population, they are responsible for 68% of dog attacks worldwide, according to Time magazine. Since 1982, pit bulls have been responsible for 52% of dog-related deaths.
These statistics are difficult to ignore.
Even well-trained pit bulls have the ability to strike deep levels of fear in citizens who are aware of these statistics and the stories of recent attacks. As a mayor, Coderre has to consider whether or not he should allow this fear and the possibility of future attacks to exist in his city.
Coderre and his administration should not receive criticism for banning pit bulls as pets in Montreal. The ban makes sense and, ultimately, increases safety and feelings of safety among civilians.