Transcript: Did the Pit Bull Ban Work? | Nov 29, 2019

Jeyan sits in the studio. He's is in his thirties, with short black hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and striped blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "Ontario Hubs: Rethinking the ban. Jeyan Jeganathan. @JeyanTVO. @theagenda."

Jeyan says IN 2005, THE FORMER
LIBERAL GOVERNMENT BANNED PIT
BULLS IN THE PROVINCE, BUT 14
YEARS LATER, THERE ARE STILL PIT
BULLS ROAMING ONTARIO.
NOW, DOUG FORD AND HIS
GOVERNMENT ARE REVISITING THE
CONTROVERSIAL BAN THAT HAS DOG
OWNERS AND NON-DOG OWNERS
UNDECIDED.

An animated slate reads Ontario Hubs.

As music plays, fast clips show a man walking a brown and white pitbull dog.

Jeyan narrates THEY'RE KNOWN FOR
THEIR INTIMIDATING, STOCKY,
MUSCULAR BUILD.
BUT ALSO FOR THEIR LOYALTY.
THE PIT BULL GETS MIXED
REACTIONS FROM DOG OWNERS AND
NON-DOG OWNERS ALIKE.
THEY'RE BANNED IN ONTARIO, BUT
THE DEBATE TO LIFT THE BAN
RETURNS TO THE ONTARIO
LEGISLATURE ONCE AGAIN.

In a clip from the Ontario Legislature, MPP for Chatham-Kent-Leamington Rick Nicholls stands and speaks.

He says IT WAS
INITIATED BACK IN 2005, WITH
VERY LITTLE EVIDENCE THAT PIT
BULLS WERE VICIOUS DOGS AND IT
WAS THEIR BITES.
AND THAT'S WHY I AM PUSHING OUR
GOVERNMENT TO REPEAL
BREED-SPECIFIC LEGISLATION.

A clip shows a man playing with a brown and white pitbull.

Jeyan continues THE PROVISION, ADDED
TO THE DOG OWNERS LIABILITY ACT,
INCLUDES FOUR BREEDS THAT ARE
OFTEN REFERRED TO AS PIT BULLS.
THEY INCLUDE PIT BULL TERRIERS,
STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIERS,
AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIERS,
AND AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIERS.
BUT THE BAN ALSO INCLUDES "A DOG
THAT HAS AN APPEARANCE AND
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS THAT
ARE SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR.
PIT BULL ATTACKS ARE
WELL-DOCUMENTED IN THE MEDIA.
IN 2004, A MAN NEEDED
RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY AFTER
BEING ATTACKED IN A PARKING LOT.
IN 2014, A TODDLER WAS ATTACKED
BY THEIR FAMILY DOG.
AND MOST RECENTLY, POLICE
CHARGED A MAN AFTER A PIT BULL
ATTACKED THREE CHILDREN IN HURON
COUNTY.
IN NICHOLLS' OWN RIDING, A
NUMBER OF DOGS WERE RESCUED FROM
A DOG-FIGHTING RING IN 2015.

In a clip, Nicholls says THEY WERE TRAINED TO BE VICIOUS DOGS.
IT WASN'T PART OF THEIR DNA.

A woman stands in a hallway.
A caption reads "Hannah Sotropa."

Tamara, in her twenties, with long blond hair, says BECAUSE BREED-SPECIFIC
LEGISLATION HAS BEEN IN
EXISTENCE FOR NOW 14 YEARS, WHAT
IT'S DONE IS VALIDATED AN
ALREADY EXISTING STEREOTYPE OF
THE BREED THAT IS NEGATIVE, THAT
IS AGGRESSIVE AND VICIOUS.

Jeyan says HANNAH SOTROPA IS
WITH THE TORONTO HUMANE SOCIETY.
THE ORGANIZATION IS ALSO IN
SUPPORT OF RENEWED PUSH TO
REVERSE THE CONTROVERSIAL BAN.
THEY RESCUE AND REHOME THOUSANDS
OF ANIMALS A YEAR, INCLUDING PIT BULLS.

Fast clips show different dogs and cats in cages at an animal shelter.

Tamara says A LOT OF THE PIT BULLS WE'VE
SEEN IN OUR SHELTER AND IN OUR
CARE HAVE BEEN WONDERFUL, HAVE
BEEN SWEET AND AFFECTIONATE AND
TRAINABLE.
I CAN PERSONALLY SPEAK TO THE
FOSTERS THAT I'VE HAD THAT HAVE
BEEN AMAZING COMPANIONS TO ME.

Jeyan says HANNAH SAYS ONE OF
THE BIGGEST ISSUES WITH THE BAN
IS THAT IT'S TOO BROAD.

Tamara says THERE ARE MIXED BREEDS.
THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF
INDIVIDUALS IN THE ANIMAL
WELFARE ORGANIZATION AND
INDUSTRY THAT SOMETIMES CAN
ACTUALLY MISJUDGE WHAT A PIT
BULL LOOKS LIKE.
THAT'S HOW CHALLENGING IT IS TO
ACTUALLY KNOW, IS THIS A PIT BULL?

A clip shows a white dog on a leash in a park.

Jeyan says TAKE CASPER, FOR
EXAMPLE.
HE HAS A SIMILAR BUILD, SHORT
HAIR AND SHORT MUZZLE.
BUT CASPER IS IN FACT AN
ARGENTINEAN DOGO.

Tamara says WE DON'T HAVE AN ABILITY TO
JUST MAKE AN ASSESSMENT BY
LOOKING AT AN ANIMAL TO IDENTIFY
WHAT THEIR BREED IS.

In a small room, a woman talks to people and says
BE PATIENT.
YOU KNOW, DO YOUR FIND, POINT IT OUT...

Jeyan says CARYN LILES THE
OWNER FOR THE CENTRE OF CANINE
EDUCATION IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO.

A caption reads "Caryn Liles."

Caryn, in her late thirties, with long brown hair, says IT'S AN IMPOSSIBLE BAN TO
ENFORCE BECAUSE YOU CAN'T BE
EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME, AND
THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT
YOU JUST CAN'T CONTROL.

Jeyan says EVEN WITH THE BAN,
THERE ARE PLENTY OF pitbulls
In the PROVINCE ILLEGALLY.
ACCORDING TO THE CITY OF
TORONTO, THERE ARE NOW 71
REGISTERED PLUS.
IN 2005, THERE WERE OVER 1400.
THOSE NUMBERS, HOWEVER, DON'T
SHOW THE FULL PICTURE.
ACCORDING TO LILES, IT'S QUITE
COMMON FOR A PIT BULL TO BE
LABELLED A DIFFERENT BREED IN
ORDER TO ESCAPE THE BAN.

Caryn says VETERINARIANS AND TRAINERS
ALIKE ARE GOING TO SIMPLY TURN
THEIR... TURN THEIR CHEEK,
RIGHT, AND JUST BRING THE DOG IN
UNDER THE IDEA THAT IT'S PERHAPS
A BOXER MIX OR A LAB MIX OR
SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

Jeyan says LILES WORKS WITH ALL
TYPES OF BREEDS AT HER TRAINING
FACILITY.
SHE SAYS THERE ARE A LOT OF
MYTHS AROUND PLUS THAT SIMPLY
AREN'T TRUE.

Caryn says WITH PIT BULLS, I THINK WE DO
SEE A LOT OF THE MYTHS ABOUT
THEIR JAW BEING STRONGER OR THAT
THEY HAVE LOCK JAW, WHICH
DOESN'T ACTUALLY EXIST.
IF IT DID, IT WOULD BE REALLY
QUITE DREADFUL.
ALL DOGS BITE.
IF IT'S GOT TEETH, IT BITES.
AND IF ANY SPECIES, IF ANY
ANIMAL IS PUSHED PAST THEIR
THRESHOLD, THEY'RE GOING TO
DEFEND THEMSELVES.
AND THAT'S THE NUMBER ONE REASON
THAT DOGS DO BITE, IS BECAUSE
THEY FEEL THREATENED AND THEY'RE AFRAID.

A line chart appears briefly showing an increase in the number of reported bites from 963 in 2005 to 1551 in 2018.

Jeyan says EVEN WITH THE BAN IN
PLACE, THE CITY OF TORONTO
CONTINUES TO SEE AN INCREASE IN
DOG BITES.
IN 2005, THERE WERE 963 REPORTED
BITES.
IN 2018, THERE WERE A TOTAL OF
1551.

At her talk, Caryn says KNOW THAT AS SOON AS THEY GET
CLOSER TO SORT OF TWO OR THREE
YEARS OLD, THEY MIGHT BECOME
LESS SOCIAL ALSO.

Jeyan says LILES SAYS ANY
CHANGES TO THE CURRENT
LEGISLATION SURROUNDING
PIT BULLS SHOULD PUT A BIGGER
FOCUS ON DOG OWNERS.

Caryn says WE SHOULDN'T JUST BRING THEM
TO A DOG PARK AND SEE WHAT
HAPPENS.
WE OFTEN THINK THAT IF WE BRING
A DOG INTO A SOCIAL SITUATION,
THAT THEY'RE GOING TO SOCIALIZE
OR WE'RE GOING TO SOCIALIZE THEM.
BUT THE SOCIALIZATION PERIOD IS
BASICALLY 5 WEEKS TO 15 WEEKS.
SO IT'S A TINY WINDOW IN A DOG'S
WORLD, IN A PUPPY'S WORLD, WHERE
WE CAN SOCIALIZE THEM.
THE REST OF THEIR LIFE, WE'RE
TRAINING TOLERANCE.

In a clip, MPP Nicholls says
OUR GOAL IS TO PROTECT PEOPLE AND PETS
THROUGH A CULTURE OF SAFETY,
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY...

Jeyan says THE PRIVATE MEMBER'S
BILL REDEFINES WHAT A VICIOUS
DOG IS AND CALLS FOR STRICTER
PUNISHMENT FOR OWNERS, INCLUDING
FINES UP TO 60,000 dollars, AND A
MAXIMUM PRISON SENTENCE OF TWO
YEARS.
UNDER THE CURRENT BAN, PIT BULLS
THAT COME INTO THE CARE OF THE
TORONTO HUMANE SOCIETY ARE KEPT
IN FOSTER HOMES BEFORE THEY'RE
MOVED OUT OF PROVINCE.
THE TORONTO HUMANE SOCIETY WORKS
CLOSELY WITH A SHELTER IN
CALGARY WHICH IS A CITY SOTROPA
SAYS ONTARIO SHOULD TAKE A
LESSON FROM WHEN IT COMES TO
DEALING WITH DANGEROUS DOGS.

Hannah says WE CAN'T SIMPLY JUST REMOVE
THE BAN AND EXPECT FOR PEOPLE TO
BEGIN BEING RESPONSIBLE OWNERS.
WHAT WE WANT TO INSTITUTE IS
MUCH LIKE WHAT CALGARY HAS,
WHICH IS A RESPONSIBLE OWNER
LEGISLATION.
BY DOING THAT AND HAVING
DANGEROUS DOG LEGISLATION, THAT
WILL MEET THE GOAL THAT
BREED-SPECIFIC LEGISLATION
ORIGINALLY HAD IN PROTECTING PUBLIC SAFETY.

Jeyan says ONTARIO IS THE ONLY
PROVINCE TO HAVE A
BREED-SPECIFIC BAN IN PLACE,
WHILE SEVERAL TOWNS AND CITIES
ACROSS CANADA HAVE TAKEN THE
MATTER INTO THEIR OWN HANDS.
THAT COULD CHANGE AS THE BILL
WORKS ITS WAY THROUGH ONTARIO'S
LEGISLATURE.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Ontario Hubs Field Producer, Jeyan Jeganathan, @JeyanTVO. Editor, David Erwin."

An animated slate reads "Ontario Hubs. Ontario Hubs are made possible by The Barry and Laurie Green Family Charitable Trust and Goldie Feldman."

Watch: Did the Pit Bull Ban Work?