Update from Yarmouth

Kristin Williams, executive director of the Nova Scotia SPCA, gives a presentation against breed specific legislation. Photo from the Yarmouth County Vanguard


Good news came out of the town of Yarmouth public meeting. It looks like breed specific legislation (BSL) is off of the table altogether, and a lot of the other extreme, draconian clauses (like the idiotic ‘two dogs or they’re dead’ clause) are also being removed.

A full report on the meeting, with quotes from some of the emails council received on the proposal, is here:


An excerpt:

Another part of the proposed bylaw that people spoke out against was a section that limited the number of dogs a person could have in their household to two.

People were assured this will not be in any finalized bylaw. It was stated at Monday’s meeting by the mayor and the town’s solicitor that the town has no authority to enforce such a regulation and it won’t be included in a dog bylaw.

Mooney went on to tell the public that the town had thrown everything on the table in this draft, but it never expected that everything in the bylaw would remain.

But, he said, it’s easier to take things out, than to put things in.

That’s a rather strange rationale for including some of the most ridiculous proposals on dog legislation I’ve ever seen, but I guess the guy had to excuse it all being there somehow. I’m just grateful that it’s been removed, although I’m still waiting to see a final draft of the by laws.

I was pleased to see some of the councilors mentioning that they’d been ‘inundated with calls and emails’, from across Canada and even parts of the USA and Europe. This is the result of a lot of social networking by bloggers, email lists, discussion groups, forums and Facebook pages, and it proves that these laws can no longer be passed in a vacuum. It also proves that scrutiny from the outside, especially on an area that relies so heavily on tourism, can have an impact.

This is what writing all those emails is for, people – because sometimes, it really does work.

Congratulations to the politicians of Yarmouth for actually listening to the opinions of their residents and of actual breed experienced dog people. I wish it wasn’t too late for Ontario to do the same.