Monday, May 15, 2006

Court Challenge-Article 2

Pit Stop

He’s a renowned lawyer used to defending high-profile clients, but on Monday Clayton Ruby will be going to court on behalf of man’s best friend.

Ruby plans to challenge Ontario’s newly established pit bull law, calling it "vague ... overly broad" and therefore unconstitutional.

He says he'll call witnesses who’ll insist most dogs of that breed are kind, loving, and not prone to biting. He’ll also undoubtedly cite a 1996 study which found that pit bulls were responsible for only four per cent of reported dog bites in Toronto, ranking ninth on a list of breeds.

"If there's a large number of dogs that don't fit within the danger, then that's over-broad legislation,” Ruby said last week.

"If imprisonment is a consequence, legislatures cannot pass laws that are vague or over-broad. The law has to be certain so that each Canadian can know what they have to do in order to comply or not comply with the law."

Under current legislation, pit bulls, or similar breeds like American Staffordshire terriers, must be muzzled in public, leashed, and sterilized.

Owners not complying with the law can be fined up to $10,000 or sentenced to up to six months in prison.

Ruby contends some veterinarians can’t even determine whether a dog is a pit bull since many dogs share similar traits: muscular bodies with broad shoulders, strong hindquarters and large heads.

However Attorney General Michael Bryant believes the law will be upheld.

"We're very confident that the bill will pass any and all constitutional scrutiny," Bryant said. "An enormous amount of work went into providing clarity to the bill and definitions. It's been described by ... one expert south of the border as the most comprehensive legislation of its kind."

The ban, part of the Dog Owners' Liability Act, came into effect last August.


Blogger Conners said...

As much as I know Ruby has this in the bag against Bryant, I'm TRYING not to hatch the chickens before the eggs. Even so, I've got that torch ready to burn the muzzle (BBQ lighter)!
Two full days of nerve racking waiting! It HAS to be worth it!!!

1:38 PM  
Blogger pitbulljungle said...

It will be worth it.

Brutus, Sadie and I are going to go to the beach the day that this law has been demolished.

We're going swimming!

3:31 PM  

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