Dog lover

Barbara Amiel rhapsodizes over Ovcharkas and individual liberty.

Here in Canada and America, dogs are victims in a different sort of war, that of statism versus individual liberty. Under various acts and bylaws, our local and provincial authorities have the power to confiscate, ban, “put down” or mutilate dogs arbitrarily, often without regard to individual behaviour. Entire breeds like the Staffordshire terrier have been banned or forcibly castrated according to local bylaws as if they were some lethal virus. Let some authority decide a dog looks “like a pit bull,” and off they go in the name of public safety under draconian legislation such as Bill 132—produced by Ontario’s former attorney general, Michael Bryant, that sterling symbol of public safety himself. The dreaded animal control officer can turn up unannounced on a doorstep after a neighbour’s complaint about barking (which becomes “menacing behaviour” and subject to penalties including confiscation of the dog), or a patrol officer’s view that a Labrador is really a pit bull.

Dogs have become a tool in controlling our lifestyle. Every dog large or small (except the basenjii) barks. Every dog can potentially nip or bite. Future restrictions on all breeds will inevitably evolve. Statism metastasizes. So please God, help man’s best friend. Man and governments won’t.


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