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‘Criminals drawn to Pit Bulls’ – police chief

TORONTO POLICE Chief Julian Fantino said that "pit bulls are the dogs of choice for criminals" and the breed should be banned in Ontario. Fantino made his outrageous assertion whilst testifying before a legislative Select Committee on the Liberal government's proposed bill to outlaw the dogs, writes Nick Mays.

Fantino said that he strongly endorsed Attorney-General Michael Bryant's move. He told the Committee of MPPS: "I'm here to support this legislation for two reasons. It will improve community safety and also it will improve officer safety."

The Police Chief added that outlaw motorcycle gangs, drug dealers, street gangsters and other criminals favour pit bulls to guard everything from marijuana grow houses to hideouts.

"From our experience, these dogs are used as weapons. Our officers are becoming equally as cognisant of dangerous dogs as they are of guns when they arrive on scenes of their calls," said the chief.

Fantino’s back-up was invaluable to Attorney-General Michael Bryant, who declared that despite widespread opposition to Bill 132 from dog enthusiasts and animal-rights groups, as well as the testimonies given by experts at the hearings he has no qualms about the ban. "

Liz White, director of the Animal Alliance of Canada, urged MPPs to vote against the bill. In her evidence White said the law, as proposed, "…is punitive to a poorly defined class of dogs, regardless of temperament and even when there is no history of biting." Instead, she said laws should be enacted to clamp down on illegal breeding and "aggressive and cruel training."