MPP wants pit bull ban muzzled

(File photo courtesy of Wonka123 via morgueFile)

The MPP for Chatham Kent Leamington wants to scrap the pit bull ban in Ontario.

Rick Nicholls wants to change the Dog Owners’ Liability Act to stop discrimination against pit bulls across Ontario because, according to him,  “a dog bite is a dog bite.”

Nicholls wants the focus taken off pit bulls and wants the responsibility put on all dog owners for the behaviour of any dog breed.

“We want to achieve safe and humane communities that are protected against dangerous dogs. That’s dangerous dogs of all breeds and of course we also want to protect dogs from cruel and irresponsible owners,” Nicholls said.

Nicholls said the current legislation should be eliminated because it is breed-specific. He claimed people want to focus just on pit bulls, but any dog can become vicious. He said there are other larger dogs and even smaller dogs that are very vicious. Nicholls added new legislation should be about responsible pet ownership and not about animal control.

Nicholls said his amendment has strong support and he expects it to pass.

“Getting support all across Ontario right now. We’ve reached out and we have support from over 50 animal welfare groups, including humane societies, kennel clubs, and veterinary associations,” Nicholls said.

The current controversial Dog Owners’ Liability Act that prohibits pit bulls is nearly 15 years old.

Nicholls introduced the private member’s bill in the legislature on Tuesday. The bill’s second reading will take place on Thursday and then it will go to public consultation at the committee level before it comes back for third and final reading at Queen’s Park.