UPDATE 12.2.2016: On Thursday, an appeals court in Montreal overturned the suspension of the controversial law banning pit bulls in the city. The law is now in effect, though animal rights organizations vow to continue their legal battle against the ordinance, which bans the sell or adoption of pit-bull-type dogs not already in an owner's possession, requires such dogs to wear a leash and muzzle in public and requires a special permit, according to the Montreal Gazette.
In October, Quebec Superior Court Justice Louis Gouin extended the suspension of the law until a legal challenge from the SPCA was heard, according to the CBC. The judge expressed concerns over the vague language in the law. The city of Montreal stands by the law and is ready to defend it in court.
Read the original story below.
Montreal, Quebec, is officially banning pit bulls.
Officials voted 37-23 in favor of the controversial law on Tuesday.
Under the bylaw, pit bulls cannot enter any of the 19 Montreal boroughs, and those that are already in the city must be muzzled in public, sterilized and microchipped. Owners will have to be screened for a criminal record and acquire a special permit, The Huffington Post reported. Those who don't adhere to the rules risk having their dogs euthanized.
"We're balanced enough to say that those who already have a dog will be able to keep them under conditions," Mayor Denis Coderre said about the law.
The law comes after a 55-year-old woman was killed in her backyard by a pit bull in June.
Coderre said the law was drafted with safety in mind.
"My duty as mayor of Montreal is making sure I am working for all Montrealers," Coderre said. "And I am there to make sure they feel safe and that they are safe."
The Montreal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals previously said it would stop providing dog services to the city if the ban was approved, and opponents to the law have said they will fight it.
"If the city of Montreal truly wanted to ensure public safety, it would not have forced a rushed adoption of controversial legislation, which is unfair, unenforceable, and, most importantly, ineffective," the animal protection agency said.
Councilman Guillaume Lavoie called the legislation "problematic."
"We have an administration that's moving away from evidence-based policy-making and entering the fray of politics-led evidence-making," Lavoie said.
Under the law, a pit bull is defined as Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers. American Staffordshire terriers, any dog with a mix of the three breeds and any dog that presents characteristics of one of those breeds, CBC News reported.
An amendment to the bylaw made Tuesday morning clarified that a pit bull's license can be transferred to another person living with an owner if the owner dies. A direct family member or a spouse can also assume responsibility of the dog in the case of its owner's death. The amendment addressed concerns that in the event of a pit bull's owner's death, the pit bull would be euthanized.
Read more at CBC News.
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