Ontario pit bull ban to be challenged

Sept. 12, 2008 at 5:51 PM
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TORONTO, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Ontario's pit bull ban is based on a definition of the dog that is far too broad and is therefore unconstitutional, a Canadian civil rights lawyer claims.

Clayton Ruby, one of Canada's most famous lawyers handling many high-profile cases, argues the controversial breed-specific legislation is not specific enough because it fails to distinguish among various breeds that look like pit bulls, Canwest News Service reported Friday.

A clause in the law states that breeds that look "substantially similar" to pit bulls are subject to the ban.

Breeds with similar physical characteristics include the Perro de Presa Canario, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, Alano Espanol, Japanese Tosa, Dogue de Bordeaux, Cordoba Fighting Dog, Bull Terrier, Antebellum Bulldog, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, American Bulldog, Boxer, Valley Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge, Renascence Bulldogge and Banter Bulldogge.

Ruby's appeal to earlier court rulings upholding the ban will be heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto Monday and Tuesday.

If the justices agree the definition is too vague, Ruby says he expects the provincial act will be struck down entirely.

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