Montreal, September 15th 2016 – On September 28th, House of Commons members will be asked to vote on Bill C-246, a private member’s bill that represents an important leap forward for animal protection in Canada. Introduced by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, the bill would make major improvements to the Criminal Code’s animal cruelty provisions, prohibit the import and sale of both shark fins and cat and dog fur, and would impose mandatory labelling of fur products sold in Canada.
Canada has some of the weakest animal cruelty laws in the western world. The Criminal Code’s animal cruelty provisions were first enacted in 1892, and they haven’t been meaningfully updated since 1954. Our laws are so outdated that the Supreme Court recently ruled in a shocking decision that most sexual abuse of animals is not illegal under current Canadian bestiality laws, leaving animals vulnerable to sickening abuse. If passed, Bill C-246 would update the animal neglect offence to make it easier to prosecute those who fail to provide adequate care for an animal. It would also close the bestiality loophole, as well as other loopholes related to animal fighting and the killing of wildlife and stray animals.
Additionally, Bill C-246 would ban shark finning, a brutal practice that decimates shark populations, as well as the importation of shark fins into Canada. Bill C-246 also takes aim at cat and dog fur, which generally comes from China, a country with no animal welfare laws, by banning its import and sale. Finally, Bill C-246 would impose mandatory labelling of all fur products, thereby enabling consumers to know whether they are purchasing real or fake fur, and, in the case of real fur, which species the fur comes from.
“As an organization charged with applying the Criminal Code cruelty provisions, we know firsthand to what extent these provisions are problematic on the ground and how desperately amendments are needed in order to meaningfully protect animals from harm” explains Sophie Gaillard, lawyer for the Animal Advocacy Department of the Montreal SPCA. “That’s why we’re encouraging all Canadians who care about animals to contact their MP today in order to urge them the support Bill C-246 at the upcoming vote on September 28th.”
To ask your MP to support Bill C-246 in just a few clicks, please visit endcruelty.ca today.
Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514 656-2760, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first animal welfare society in Canada and our mission is to:
- protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation;
- represent their interests and ensure their well-being;
- raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings.
For many years, the Montreal SPCA has been working hard with municipal, provincial and federal governments to improve animal protection laws. In 2015, the Montreal SPCA’s Investigations and Inspections Department investigated 1,339 new complaints and conducted the inspection of 1,945 animals, all species combined. A total of 659 animals were seized as a result of these investigations and several criminal and penal charges were laid.
For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.