Opportunity for repeal: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel asked animal control staff to report back with recommendations on whether the current breed-specific restrictions in the city are warranted. BSL was passed in Edmonton in 1987, and the city continues to receive negative feedback from the public on their breed specific policy. The committee is scheduled to hear back Jan. 23, 2012 on what changes could be made to the bylaw.

Please take this opportunity to encourage the Edmonton city officials to pursue a breed-neutral ordinance that will promote the safety and well-being of citizens and animals alike.

City of Edmonton
3rd Floor, City Hall
1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 2R7
Phone: 780-442-5311
E-mail: 311@edmonton.ca

The Mayor
2nd Floor, City Hall
1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 2R7
FAX: 780-496-8292
Contact form: http://webproxy.edmonton.ca/forms/Contact311/default.aspx

City Councillors
2nd Floor, City Hall
1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 2R7
FAX: 780-496-8113
E-mail: Councillors@edmonton.ca

Council reopens contentious debate on breed-specific bylaw

By Elise Stolte, edmontonjournal.com November 14, 2011

EDMONTON – City council Monday reopened the debate on pit bulls and breed-specific dog bylaws.

Mayor Stephen Mandel asked animal control staff to report back in January with recommendations on whether the current breed-specific restrictions are warranted.

“Breed-specific legislation might not be justified,” said David Aitken, a city manager and point person for the legislation who spoke Monday to the community services committee meeting. “There’s a train of thought that suggests it’s not the animal, it’s the owner that has the issue. Therefore, you can’t hold specific breeds responsible for actions.”

City council last debated pit bulls in 2003, after passing a bylaw that restricted ownership of mixed-breed American Staffordshire and Staffordshire bull terriers, which are often referred to as pit bulls. Dog owners for those breeds pay higher registration fees, must carry $1 million in insurance, and must keep the dogs muzzled on public property and tethered on private property.

Those restrictions also apply to any dog with a history of attacking people.

The debate over the bylaw was heated in 2003, with members of the public divided on whether banning specific breeds was important for public safety.

Mandel told committee members he wanted to reopen the debate because his office continues to get emails objecting to the breed-specific ban.

Coun. Ed Gibbons at first questioned whether reopening that debate was a good idea. It was a major, contentious debate that flooded his office with calls, he said. “I never realized we had so many people with so many different breeds of dogs.”

The committee is scheduled to hear back Jan. 23 on what changes could be made to the bylaw and on what restrictions other municipalities have in place.

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Council+reopens+contentious+debate+breed+specific+bylaw/5708453/story.html

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