QUÉBEC CITY, June 13, 2018 – Today the National Assembly adopted An Act to promote the protection of persons by establishing a framework with regard to dogs.
Bill 128 was the subject of special consultations with the Committee on Institutions, during which nearly twenty groups were heard and more than 1,000 comments were received by the Ministère de la Sécurité Publique. These consultations showed that there is no scientific consensus on the identification of any particular dog breeds as being potentially dangerous and that, even in provinces where such laws exist, municipalities report that they are unable to apply such measures.
That is why the Government proposed amendments to the bill in order to retract provisions covering breed or type of dog while maintaining a strict regulatory framework that will apply across the province.
The regulation (see appendix) will establish rules that vary depending on the level of danger that certain dogs present. Thus, minimum standards apply to all dogs, while additional measures will cover dogs declared potentially dangerous by the municipality. Dogs that are declared dangerous will be euthanized. The regulation also covers the reporting of injuries, the power of inspection, seizures and municipal inquiries, as well as the process to declare a dog dangerous or potentially dangerous.
“News of dog attacks has shaken us all, and we have to act to ensure public safety. The bill passed today proposes a strict framework regarding dangerous dogs that applies across Québec.”
Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Montréal region
- The regulation that will be enacted soon by the Government of Québec will:
- Establish the powers that a local municipality can exercise regarding dogs and their owners or custodians;
- Establish standards regarding the supervision and ownership of dogs;
- Oblige veterinary surgeons, physicians or any other person to report dog-inflicted injuries, and set out the information to be communicated in the report.
- The Government has undertaken to set up a working group whose mandate will be to make recommendations to Québec’s Ministère de la Sécurité Publique and Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation in the 12 months following its constitution for the development of a framework for breeders that reconciles animal welfare and public safety.
APPENDIX – Regulatory framework
1° Standards regarding the supervision and ownership of dogs
Registration of dogs
Any dog over 6 months must be registered within the given period with the municipality in which its owner or custodian lives.
To register a dog:
1° The following information must be provided: name and contact details of the owner or custodian, breed, sex, colour, year of birth, name and distinctive marks, and whether the dog is microchipped, tattooed, sterilized, and vaccinated.
2° the fee set by the municipality must be paid. These fees may vary according to the category of the dog or other criteria established by the municipality.
The owner or custodian must inform the municipality of a change in the information provided.
Identification of dogs
Following the registration of a dog, the municipality must issue a tag with a registration number to the owner or custodian. The colour of the tag will correspond to the category of dog to facilitate the application of the regulation.
The dog must wear its tag at all times to make identification possible. This tag may not be modified or altered.
Standards for all dogs
Dogs are not permitted on another’s private property unless they have permission.
Dogs must always be kept on leash in public spaces. The municipality may determine the maximum length of the leash.
Any dog weighing 20 kg or more must always be under the control of a person who is able to control it. In addition, the municipality may require a halter or body harness.
Additional standards applicable to dogs declared potentially dangerous
The dog must wear a halter or body harness at all times in public places.
It is forbidden to walk more than one potentially dangerous dog at a time.
The dog must be vaccinated against rabies, and vaccinations must be kept up to date.
The dog must be sterilized at the age determined by the municipality.
The dog must be microchipped.
In the presence of a child, the dog must be under constant supervision by the owner or custodian.
In public places, the dog must be supervised at all times.
The dog must not be able to escape from a private yard that is not fenced or whose fence is not able to contain it within the property limits.
The dog must not be on a bicycle path, in a schoolyard or on school property or on the property of a public pool or skating rink.
2° Powers of a local municipality with respect to a dog or its owner or custodian and means of exercising these powers
Local municipalities will be granted the following powers:
- Require that a dog undergo an examination by a veterinary surgeon for evaluation of its condition and dangerousness. After considering the veterinary surgeon’s report, the local municipality may declare the dog potentially dangerous if of the opinion that the dog constitutes a risk for public health or safety (sections 12 and 15 of the bill);
- Declare a dog that has bitten or attacked a person or domestic animal and inflicted injury potentially dangerous (section 16 of the bill);
- Order the euthanasia of a dog that has bitten or attacked a person and caused death or serious injury (section 18 of the bill);
- If the circumstances so warrant, the local municipality may order the owner or custodian of the dog to (section 11 of the bill):
- Submit the dog to one or more of the measures prescribed by the regulation, any other measure to reduce the risk the dog constitutes for public health or safety, or euthanasia;
- Order the dog’s owner or custodian to get
rid of the dog or any other dog or may prohibit him or her from owning, acquiring, keeping or breeding any other dog for the period it determines.
The regulation will provide the procedure and terms for the exercise of these powers, including the powers of inspection and seizure as well as animal care expenses (section 13 and 14, 21 to 23, 25 to 27, 28 par. 2, 29, 30, 33, 35 and 36 of the bill).
The dogs listed in section 5 of the bill will be partially or fully exempted from the application of the regulations.
The regulation will provide that certain standards are not applicable in certain circumstances, for example the requirement to register a dog in transit or to keep a dog on a leash in a dog park.
4° Obligation to report
The regulation will require veterinary surgeons and physicians to immediately report an injury inflicted by a dog to the local municipality and to provide certain information.
It may also subject other people to this obligation.
5° Penal provisions
The regulation will provide that failure to comply with the provisions of the regulation is an offence and it will determine the amounts of related fines.
It will provide the minimum and maximum fines, which will be double for a second offence and triple for a further offence.
The amounts of the fines may be higher in the case of a dog that has been declared potentially dangerous.