Friday, May 19, 2006

No Proof Pit Bull Ban is Necessary

No proof pit bull ban is necessary: Ruby
Ontario calls law `minimally intrusive'

Act was amended to eliminate breed

The Ontario government isn't bothering to provide proof that its pit bull ban is necessary, instead asking a judge to take its wisdom on faith, a dog owners' lawyer says.

"For the government to ask: `Don't make any findings of fact.' That's the equivalent of saying, `Trust us, we're the government'," Clayton Ruby argued yesterday.

Ruby was making his final representations on behalf of Toronto dog owner Catherine Cochrane, who is mounting a constitutional challenge to the province's Dog Owners' Liability Act.

The act was amended last year to eventually eliminate pit bulls from the province.

Justice Thea Herman reserved her decision yesterday.

"It's been a fascinating few days," she said.

Under the legal changes, Ontarians can't newly acquire pit bulls. Existing owners must neuter their dogs and make sure they are leashed and muzzled in public.

Violators could get a maximum penalty of $10,000 and six months in jail.

Ruby argued that the law is too broad and vague in its definition of pit bull, so that his client, for instance, can't be sure if her dog qualifies.

Michael Doi, lawyer for the government, who has presented horrific examples of Ontario residents maimed by unexpected pit bull attacks, said the government has all the facts it needs to act.

"Even in the case of inconclusive scientific evidence, as long as the legislature has a reasonable" basis to fear harm and passes proportionate legislation, that's all it needs to pass constitutional muster, Doi argued.

"There is simply no constitutional right to own a pit bull," he said.

The law as passed is "minimally intrusive," he added.

The judge asked if sending a pit bull to dog obedience school might prevent attacks.

"There is absolutely no evidence before the court that dog obedience schools would prevent pit bulls from attacking," Doi replied.

"The evidence in our materials clearly indicates that it is not possible to determine whether a dog (will attack) today, tomorrow or some time down the road," he said.


Blogger Conners said...

That was the most nerve racking four days I've ever had since the ban became enforced.
I slept all today away, probably from exaustion due to the stress and waiting for updates.
Can you believe we sill have to wait 2 to 3 months or longer for the judge to decide which way she's going on this?
Looks like our bullies will be muzzled most of the summer...longer if we don't win.

10:01 PM  
Blogger GREG said...

Here in the Philippines, pit bulls are made to fight til death! Although they are just a few sick aficionados of the game, one dead pit bull does not justify their acts. It is illegal here but with the huge bets involved, corruption play a major role that's why it can't seem to stop.

I have saved a number of native dogs from being slaughtered and consumed. See my postings.

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Aidana said...

It amazes me that there is still dog fights in Norfolk,VA USA... it's illegal, but still here.

Animal controle trains at the police academy & carry firearm for that very reason... the people that run the fights will shoot... they are evil people.


11:22 PM  

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