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\r\n\t\t\t\tLetter to Minister Martin Coiteux \r\n\t\t\t\t<\/i><\/a>\r\n\t\t\t<\/div>\r\n\t\t<\/div>\r\n\t\t
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\r\n\tDear Minister Coiteux and members of the Commission,\r\n\r\nAs one of your constituents, I am writing to you to express my concerns about Bill 128, An Act to promote the protection of persons by establishing a framework with regard to dogs. \r\n\r\nLike many Quebec residents, I want our cities and province to be a safer place for both people and animals. I support legislation that will reduce the risk and severity of dog bites. However, I am deeply concerned about the portions of Bill 128 that that target certain dog breeds. \r\n\r\nIt has been consistently shown that breed specific legislation (BSL) is unfair, costly, unenforceable, and, most importantly, ineffective in actually increasing public safety, as evidenced by the experiences of Ontario, the Netherlands, and countless American cities. In fact, in some jurisdictions, the number and severity of dog bite incidents has actually increased after the adoption of BSL. For example, in Ontario, from 2005, when the province banned \u2018pit bull\u2019 type dogs, to 2012, the number of hospitalisations due to severe dog bites actually increased by 45%. Due to these concerns, more than twenty states in the United States currently prohibit municipalities on their territory from adopting certain forms of BSL. \r\n\r\nVeterinary orders and associations around the world, including the Ordre des M\u00e9decins V\u00e9t\u00e9rinaries du Qu\u00e9bec, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association), oppose BSL and agree that there is no scientific basis for it. Experts in canine behavior, such as the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, as well as experts in canine genetics, such as internationally recognized Dr. Kristopher J. Irizarry, PhD., also affirm that a dog\u2019s breed is not a predictor of dangerousness or aggression.\r\n\r\nBSL also causes unintended adverse effects, such as the large-scale putting to death of innocent animals. Each year in Quebec, tens of thousands of puppies and dogs enter the shelter system. Most of these dogs are mixes of many different breeds of dogs and would be subject to the provincial ban. If Bill 128 is passed, these dogs and puppies could no longer be adopted out, forcing shelters across the province to systematically put these animals to death, regardless of their health or behaviour.\r\n\r\nFurther, following the adoption of BSL, as we have seen in Montreal, other major problems occur. Citizens become fearful they will suffer prejudice and consequently stop walking and socializing their dogs or taking them to the veterinarian. Some even go so far as to surrender their dog to a shelter. Many veterinarians, aware of the lack of a scientific basis for BSL, refuse to participate in its implementation, making enforcement nearly impossible. Citizens fear for the safety of their family pets, neighbors become hostile and turn on one another. Citizens frantically try to gain clarity on how the legislation will affect them and government officials are inundated with questions from their panicked and confused constituents.\r\n\r\nFinally, BSL wastes public funds on confiscating and euthanizing animals who pose no danger, and on prosecuting responsible dog owners. These funds could instead be used to implement measures that have actually been proven effective in preventing dog bites and making communities safer, such as enforcing breed-neutral dangerous dog legislation and providing access to community programs such low cost spay-neuter services.\r\n\r\nGiven the above, I ask you, dear Minister Coiteux and members of the Commission, to please consider the negative repercussions of the breed-specific provisions of Bill 128, both for the people and animals of Quebec. \r\n\r\nShould you wish to obtain further information on BSL, I encourage you to visit www.saferkindercommunities.com<\/a>.\r\n \r\nSincerely,\r\n\r\n\r\n<\/div>\r\n\t\t<\/div>\r\n\t<\/div> \r\n<\/div>\r\n \r\n"}