Last night the Burnaby City Council voted unanimously to increase the fines and penalties associated with their breed discriminatory law despite vocal opposition.
Citing an increase in dog bites in recent years, the Council decided to look at their animal control by laws to see what they can do about attacks. A rather flawed report was put together citing pit bulls and German Shepherds as the primary culprits of attacks. A local professor analyzed the numbers behind the report, which claimed that the two groups of dogs were attacking in disproportionate numbers. Among the issues with the report was a question of the premise that attacks have been on the rise in Burnaby. Also noted is the lack of investigation into a rise in population as a possible explanation for the claimed rise in bites. This is not to say that rise in population has to equate a rise in dog related incidents as Calgary has proven year after year but if officials are trying to find the core of an issue, all sides must be evaluated in order to best come up with an ethical and responsible solution.
Another issue is breed identification. Supposedly only 2% of registered dogs are pit bulls. The population of targeted dogs would be underestimated because the reporting is based on the owners ID. Because pit bulls are restricted, some owners may be labeling their dogs as other breeds or mixes, so they would not have to comply with the regulations.
Many people voiced opposition to the potential increase in fines and fees associated with ownership of targeted dogs. Included in these were advocates, dog professionals, lawyers and regular members of the community whose professions are not related to the topic.
The changes raise licensing fees for targeted breeds to $150 per year, fines for unmuzzled targeted dogs was raised to $200 and impoundment fees to $400.
Targeted dogs are defined as: “a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, an American Pit Bull Terrier and any dog generally recognized as a pit bull or pit bull terrier and includes a dog of mixed breed with predominant pit bull or pit bull terrier characteristics.”
Officials were cited data from pro-BDL lobbyists. This data was all based in the United States, not Canada. There was an agenda in the use of the source, seeking data to support their argument, rather than dealing with local data, which presented a weak case.
After the meeting advocate April Fahr was quoted in the news saying, “We also have to ask ourselves, well, six per cent of pit bull bites occurred in Burnaby over the last ten years — what are we doing about that other 94 per cent of bites? What happened here tonight that’s going to prevent those other 94 percent of bites?”
Certainly a question to ponder, and one which officials have roundly ignored.
Sad development. Wonder why the voices of reason and wisdom were overruled.
Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog.
In Fort Lauderdale, FL USA if my muscle dog sneezes, well without exaggeration when she came outside the open front door to do one lap around her front yard-my property-and run right back in, which was all of 20 seconds perhaps, suddenly the Broward County Animal Care and Regulation officer was at my neighbor’s front door and clearly ignoring three animal law violations within sight (untagged, unidentified cats, lacking ID, license tags and proof of vaccinations) got into his car to drive to my swale. There was no animal violations or signs that any animals even lived at my home. I asked him why are you here and he said because I have a pit bull. I said it is legal to not only be a pit bull but to have a pit bull. Again why are you here? Which drug dealer called you? This is not your jurisdiction, but the City of Fort Lauderdale’s and yet you act as if I am a terrorist. This is my property and clearly there is no animal law violations in sight. He said he could hear my dog barking from inside my home. I said I hope you understand what she is saying, too. You are an unwelcome intruder and have no right to be here. She senses my disgust for this completely out of line meeting and that you are, for all practical purposes, a threat and danger. When you forget this is not South Africa, but the United States of America and a Democracy with a document containing Civil Rights, you act as if you serve a dictator threatening the confiscation of persons or possessions. How can you enforce animal laws when you don’t even know the laws of this state or what a democracy is and seem to be unfamiliar with civil liberties, civil rights. How dare you speak to an American and a homeowner at that the way you spoke to me. You cannot enter my property and command me or threaten me even if there were violations. How you got hired is beyond me but giving you a gun is insanity. He made up laws as he went on and I called his superiors asking for Affirmative African American Officer Jones’ immediate supervisor who agreed he lied about laws and was completely out of line. Why was he hired or hired and not told to read the statutes he is to enforce? It is sad to be hired to fill a quota designated by physical appearance and not because you won the interview or were considered the most qualified applicant. It must be ended so we can all be better off getting by on who we are, what we can do well and things that give us an appropriate sense of accomplishment versus shame or sadness that none of your talenst and skills are ever demonstrated-only the color of the epidermis. The resentment of others for this hiring disgrace is often thrown in the person’s face and this is all so stupid, harmful and way beyond time to take action and destroy affirmative action. Giving a gun to be used at will in a position of enforcing animal laws to a man who is not aware of the statutes and laws of the state, does not know the animal laws, what is legal, what is not, who ignores the civil rights of life long Americans as he does not know them is really a danger to us all. Guns cannot be given to people who do even know what is right or wrong and who display a sense of power and pleasure when making threats for no apparent reason, for interogation of one without cause or reason is not only irresponsible, it is a life-threatening mistake. I suggest Broward County test every enforcement officer for knowledge of our democracy, our civil rights and what actions are violations of Federal Law.