Study Shows Pit Bull Ban Does Not Stop Dog Bites

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Study Shows Pit Bull Ban Does Not Stop Dog Bites

[Ed. Note: Please visit Find the Pitbull to see images of 24 dogs often wrongly identified as pitbulls.]

By Sharon Seltzer
May 2010

Results of a new study showed “no significant drop in dog bite cases” since a ban on pit bull dogs was implemented five years ago in Ontario, Canada.

In 2005 the provincial government passed Breed Specific Legislation that required pit bull dogs and Staffordshire terriers to be muzzled in public. The law also resulted in death of “countless” dogs that were euthanized in animal shelters.

Michael Bryant, attorney general at the time, touted the ordinance would, “make our streets safer.”

Now five years later the Toronto Humane Society (THS) wanted to see if those words had translated into fewer dog bites. They conducted a survey with all of the municipalities affected by the law and found no slowing of dog bites to people.

“This survey shows that the pit bull ban has not resulted in a reduction in the number of dog bites in Ontario,” said the THS.

The organization is now calling for the government to amend its Breed Specific Legislation and “stop the punishment of innocent animals.”

The statistics revealed a nearly 10 percent drop in dog bites from 2004 to 2005, to just over 5,000. Then there was a slight drop again in 2006. But the years following showed an increase back to the original number of dog bites documented when the law began in 2005.

Ian McConachie of THS said in an interview with the Toronto Sun, “Dogs are not born violent. Instead, they are made that way by irresponsible owners who train them to be that way or neglect them and they develop behavioral problems.”

“If we want to reduce the number of dog bites we have to address the route causes of the problem, those irresponsible owners who do not appropriately care for their animals,” he continued.

Currently Garfield, New Jersey is considering BSL that would require pit bull dogs to be muzzled and their owners charged “excessive fees.” The ban would also endanger the lives of the pit bulls and pit bull mixes that make up 70 percent of the dogs in the town’s animal shelters.