"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."
~ Mark Twain

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May 1, 2010

The Toronto Humane Society has completed the results of a statistical survey of municipalities across Ontario regarding the number of dog bites. This survey shows that the Pit Bull ban has not resulted in a reduction in the number of dog bites in Ontario.

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) was included in amendments made to the Dog Owners Liability Act making Pit Bull’s an illegal breed in Ontario. This act has seen countless Pit Bulls (and Staffordshire Terrier’s) euthanized simply because of their breed.

When introduced former Attorney General Michael Bryant stated in the Legislature ‘It's time that we make amendments to the Dog Owners' Liability Act that make our streets safer.‘ BSL has failed to do so.

A study of the total number of dog bites since the Act came into effect in 2005 shows that there has been no significant reduction in the total number of dog bites since that time.

BSL data 2003 - 2009

* Please note: On April 30th the THS revised figures for Durham Region to reflect a miscalculation in the data originally provided. The revision decreased data from Durham Region by the same percentage each year (2003 ‘“ 2009). It does not affect the argument made that dog bites have not been reduced as a result of BSL.

Click here to download the chart data in excel format

The Toronto Humane Society has long been an opponent of Breed Specific Legislation as it targets the wrong source of the problem. Dogs are not born violent but are made that way by irresponsible owners who train them to be that way or neglect them and they develop behavioural problems.

‘If we want to reduce the number of dog bites we have to address the route cause of the problem, those irresponsible owners who do not appropriately care for their animals.‘ Said Ian McConachie, Senior Communicator at the Toronto Humane Society. ‘It is clear from these figures that the BSL aspects of the Dog Owners Liability Act has not worked to decrease the incidents of dog bites.‘

The Toronto Humane Society calls on the McGuinty government to address this issue with amendments to this Act and to stop the punishment of innocent animals.