A Canadian First: Trapping of Wildlife Leads to Criminal Conviction

moufette2Montreal, June 18th 2018 – Gaetan Bouchard, a building owner in the Plateau Mont-Royal, was sentenced for animal cruelty at the Montreal municipal courthouse earlier this month after being convicted of trapping a skunk and leaving the animal to suffer. To the Montreal SPCA’s knowledge, this is the first criminal animal cruelty conviction in relation to the trapping of wildlife ever obtained in Canada.

The charge stems from a criminal investigation conducted by the Montreal SPCA in March of this year. In response to a late-night call received from a passer-by reporting a skunk agonizing, but alive, in a trap in the Plateau Mont-Royal borough, a patroller from the Montreal SPCA was dispatched to the scene. After several unsuccessful attempts to free the skunk, the animal, still caught in the trap, was brought to the closest emergency veterinary clinic, where she was humanely euthanized due to the extent of her injuries. Following the Montreal SPCA’s investigation, Mr. Bouchard was identified as the person responsible for setting the trap. He was sentenced to a one-year probation, a 500$ fine, and 149$ in restitution to the Montreal SPCA.

“Though the sentence obtained in this case is rather lenient, we are pleased to have finally obtained a criminal conviction in a case involving the trapping of urban wildlife, which is something we sadly see too often in Montreal,” explains Me Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “Given the existence of humane wildlife control methods, trapping or killing animals is never the solution, and, as this case illustrates, can even result in criminal charges.”

For more information on humane wildlife control, please visit this link.

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Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Senior Consultant, Corporate Development and Media Relations, Montreal SPCA, 514 656-2760, or anitak@spca.com.

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 from neglect, abuse and exploitation
  • represent their interests and ensure their well-being
  • raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all sentient beings

For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.

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