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Ford proposes return of blood sports

John Bell

May 9, 2023

It is well known that Tory politicians like Doug Ford want to turn back the clock on social progress. But now Ford is turning it back 400 years, by proposing training dogs to fight to the death with wild coyotes and foxes.

In Elizabethan England, spectators could watch and wager on a variety of blood sports. In “cockpits” and “bear gardens” and other purpose-built arenas, you could see roosters tear each other apart, and watch chained bears and bulls tormented and torn to death by specially bred dogs – yes, that’s why they are called bulldogs.

With the “discovery” of Africa, previously unknown animals were imported as spectacles. That included watching chimpanzees fighting to the death. 

According to Graydon Smith, DoFo’s natural resources and forestry minister, there is huge demand of what he calls “dog sports”, or “training and trailing”. This involves releasing wildlife, including coyotes, foxes and the ever offensive rabbits, into a penned area and then releasing the hounds.

He says that if such activities are not legally licensed, encouraged and sponsored, they will go underground. "The one thing that we also wouldn't want to see is in the absence of these facilities that dog owners and their handlers are out doing this on other private land or Crown land where there could be unwanted interactions with both people and wildlife."

Evidently, policing illegal dog fights is not an option.

But why stop there? Why not give bears their time in the spotlight? Are there no cocks? Perhaps chimps are in short supply today, but surely there plenty of trash pandas. 

Since Ford is already hell-bent on building a “world class” spa/casino on the site of Ontario place, why not include a cockpit, or a bear garden or two. They could team up with gambling company FanDuel to stage actual fans having actual duels. It could all be televised and marketed as MMMA – Mixed Mammal Martial Arts.

Come to think of it, the Toronto Zoo could do with some rebranding. How about Safari World? It wouldn’t just be killing critters; for the kiddies we could have a Poke-The-Bear booth, three pokes for $5 bucks. It would be a cash cow. Did we mention that for enough cash you can shoot the cow?

Their lack of public health policies in the face of a pandemic have shown Tories have little regard for human life. Why should a bunch of mangy animals expect better treatment?



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