TORONTO, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The Ontario government has introduced controversial legislation to ban pit bulls in Canada's most populous province, the Toronto Star reported Wednesday.
"This is the beginning of the end of the reign of terror that pit bulls have wrought upon Ontarians for many, many years," provincial Attorney-General Michael Bryant told reporters after introducing the bill.
The bill, which would amend the Dog Owners Liability Act, not only calls for the ban, but also for much tougher rules for dangerous dogs generally.
Under the bill, those who own pit bulls once the law is proclaimed can keep them, but the dogs must be leashed and muzzled when in public, and spayed or neutered.
The legislation also prohibits new ownership, sales, breeding and importation of pit bulls anywhere in the province.
Bryant said the owner of any breed of dog that bites, attacks or is a menace to public safety could be subject to fines of up to $8,000, and for the first time, a jail term of up to six months.
Two Ontario cities already have municipal bans on pit bulls, and Bryant said similar bans are in place in France, Britain and Germany.