[…] One of the most distressing moments in the Holocaust was when the Nazis decreed that no Jew could have a pet. Fathers lined up with the family dog, mothers with the cat, little old ladies with their budgerigars in order to have them registered and handed over to the Third Reich. Toronto’s bylaw isn’t the Third Reich, but it has this in common: The new animal bylaw has nothing to do with sanitation or a better quality of life for citizens. Its purpose is to regulate and persecute citizens. Existing laws were sufficient to deal with any problem this new bylaw addresses. What Toronto Councillor George Mammolitti (who originally asked that all cats be walked on a leash) wants to do is accustom us further to the idea that our habits, pastimes and property — animate or inanimate — are the business of the authorities and not under our own control. He and his kind want more power to inspect and interfere with our lives. They create and nourish the neighbourhood busybody and informer, without whom no tyranny can exist.
February 19, 1999 | Barbara Amiel | National Post ([email protected])