Dog owners protest Quebec's decision to eventually ban pit bulls

Dog owners protest Quebec's decision to eventually ban pit bulls

Quebec's new controversial legislation which aims to crack down on dangerous dogs and eventually ban pit bulls spurred a protest outside the province's National Assembly on Sunday.

Pet owners and their dogs stood outside the legislature, calling for an end to any kind of breed-specific legislation in Quebec.

"It's too bad that they want to enforce a law against this," said dog owner Audrey Benoit-Canelle. "They shouldn't have the right to denigrate a race, it's like being racist toward people."

The proposed law, Bill 128, would allow the provincial government to eventually prohibit any kind of dog it considers dangerous — including pit bulls, certain crossbreeds and dogs that are trained to protect or attack.

Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux tabled the bill in early April, citing Christiane Vadnais's death as a reason why the government felt compelled to proceed with banning pit bull-type dogs.

The bill comes nearly one year after Vadnais was fatally mauled in her Montreal backyard by a dog that had been described as a pit bull at the time. 

But Mireille Goulet, the spokesperson for Action Secu-Québec, said that the move from Quebec misses the marks and that pet owners should be at the heart of the bill in order to reduce dog bites, attacks and injuries.

"Without educational measures to teach the warning signs of aggression that people don't know about, we'll never reduce dog bites in Quebec," she said.

It is not clear when pit bull-type dogs will be prohibited in Quebec.