Montreal, Tuesday September 15, 2015 – After speaking today at the parliamentary commission hearing regarding Bill 54, An Act to Improve the legal situation of Animals, the Montreal SPCA remains hopeful that the bill, provided certain modifications are made, will make a big difference for animals in this province.
Bill 54 was presented on June 5th, 2015 to the National Assembly by Pierre Paradis, the Quebec Minister of Agriculture. Bill 54 includes the proposed adoption of a new animal welfare act which, amongst other things, includes:
- protections for certain species of animals not covered under current legislation,
- requirements in relation to psychological welfare for certain species,
- increased penalties for infractions, including jail time,
- and a permit system for pet stores, fur farms, and persons with 15 or more horses under their care.
The bill also includes an amendment to the Civil Code of Quebec that would explicitly recognize animals as sentient beings, but nonetheless still subject them to the property regime.
The legislation proposed in Bill 54, while introducing some significant changes, still has some room for improvement. “The Montreal SPCA applauds Minster Paradis for bringing forward Bill 54, which we see as a huge step in the right direction for the protection of animals in Quebec. However, there are some important modifications that need to be made in order to provide meaningful protection to all animals in this province. Exotic animals and wildlife in captivity continue to be excluded from the ambit of protections and animal use industries are still given the power to determine for themselves which practices or procedures are “acceptable” and thus exempt from the legislation” said Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “After speaking today in front of the parliamentary commission on Bill 54, we feel hopeful that the Minister will make the necessary modifications to the bill, and that we are on the verge of a new day for animals in our province”.
The Minister of Agriculture will be taking comments from the public regarding Bill 54 until September 29th, 2015 and the Montreal SPCA is encouraging everyone to express their views on the subject by clicking here.
To read the executive summary of the AQSS’s (Quebec Association of SPCA’s and SPA’s of which the Montreal SPCA is a member) commentary on Bill 54, please click here (available in French only). The AQSS’s entire memorandum will be made public as of September 29th, 2015.
Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first humane 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 2014, our inspection service investigated 1,217 new complaints and conducted the inspection of 3,012 animals, all species combined. A total of 101 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.