Bayside Kennels in northern Alberta, home to the Wildrose Party and the Wilds, are no longer allowed to house any of the province’s roughly 400,000 pit bulls.
The province said in a statement Friday that “it has been the intention for years to allow the Wildres to continue providing shelter to dogs at these shelters, but due to the extreme nature of the situation we have decided to discontinue that practice.”
Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean said he was “shocked” by the decision.
“This was a decision we had made many years ago, and I believe it’s a decision that will continue to be made by the WildRes,” Jean said.
It’s the latest in a string of policy changes by the Alberta government, which has also eliminated the ban on pit bulls and removed rules that prevented anyone from owning more than one dog at a time.
Wildrose Leader Brian Marie said Friday that he will take action if he is elected premier.
“The Wildres are not going anywhere,” he said.
“We are committed to protecting our animals and we are going to continue to do that as premier.”
The Wilds have been criticized by some animal rights activists for their decision.
The Wilders banned the pit bull breed from their organization’s shelters in 2011.
They said it was not humane for the dogs to be kept in a facility that had previously housed dogs that had been shot.
In the past year, the province has introduced more than 50 new rules to protect the animals, including banning dogs from outdoor activity, a ban on feeding the dogs and putting them on a leash.
Jean said he is confident in the Wilders ability to protect animals.
“We are going through this with compassion, with grace, and with understanding,” he told reporters in Edmonton Friday.
“And we know that this is not going to be easy.
We know that people are not willing to give up their dogs.”
He said he will work with the province to find a solution.