Ontario has a new law that spells the beginning of the end for pit bulls. Under the controversial ban passed yesterday, pit bull owners will be able to keep the dogs they own now, but once they are gone, that's it.
"Once the law goes into effect, it will mean no more new pit bulls in the province of Ontario," Attorney General Michael Bryant said, adding that he expects other jurisdictions to follow Ontario's lead.
The legislation is in response to a spate of vicious attacks across Ontario in the last year.
"We should have, immediately, better protection of the public from pit bull bites because they will now all have to be muzzled and leashed, and neutered or spayed," Bryant said.
The legislation also calls for a crackdown on any dog that bites, attacks or is a menace to public safety. Owners will face fines of up to $10,000 and, for the first time, a jail term of up to six months, while fines for corporations will be up to $60,000.
The pit bull ban has been an emotional issue among dog breeders, owners and various organizations, who complained the act was far too sweeping. Prominent lawyer Clayton Ruby, acting on behalf of the pro-pit bull lobby, has said he would challenge the legislation on constitutional grounds.