Montreal, July 21 2016 – Today, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) released its 2016 provincial animal welfare legislation rankings. Quebec shows significant improvement since last year, moving up from being the worst province in Canada to a striking sixth position. However, ALDF cautions that Quebec risks dropping back down in the rankings next year if it follows through with plans to enact breed specific legislation (BSL), which regulates or bans certain dogs based on their breed or physical appearance rather than on actual conduct.
2. Nova Scotia
3. British Columbia
5. Newfoundland & Labrador
7. New Brunswick
10. Prince Edward Island
12. Northwest Territories
Quebec’s greatly improved positioning in the this year’s rankings is attributable to the adoption of Bill 54, An Act to Improve the legal situation of Animals last December, which created a new provincial act exclusively dedicated to animal welfare and amended the Civil Code of Quebec to explicitly recognize animals as sentient beings. Despite these notable improvements, it remains unclear whether Quebec will be able to hold on to sixth position given the province’s recent plans to institute province-wide BSL, which would “represent a significant step back for Quebec and could cause the province to move back down in the rankings”, according to ALDF.
The Montreal SPCA shares ALDF’s concerns regarding BSL, namely that it is unfair, unenforceable, costly and, most of all, ineffective in improving public safety, which is why the Montreal SPCA recently launched its #SaferKinderCommunities campaign. #SaferKinderCommunities aims to propose a comprehensive and multifaceted solution to the issue of dog bites focused on prevention, owner responsibility and measures that target dogs based on their behavior, not their breed.
“It is not a question of being for or against a certain breed of dog. It is a question of giving the citizens of Quebec the kind of policy they deserve: effective regulations that deal with the underlying causes of dog bites”, explains Me Alanna Devine, Director of Animal Advocacy at the Montreal SPCA. “All veterinary orders and associations, as well as public health authorities, agree: BSL does not reduce the incidence nor the severity of dog bites. We sincerely hope that Quebec will maintain its recent momentum and continue to make progressive and evidence-based legislative changes, rather than enact BSL, which other jurisdictions are now moving away from”.
The Montreal SPCA encourages the public to visit www.saferkindercommunities.com to:
- Learn the facts and precedents as well as read studies on the issue of dog bites;
- Join the 4,163 people who have already supported the regulation model proposed by the Montreal SPCA;
- Share the campaign on social networks.
Photo Credit: Animal Legal Defense Fund
Media contact: Anthony Johnson, Montreal SPCA, 514 656-2760, or email@example.com.
About the Montreal SPCA
Founded in Montreal in 1869, we were the first animal welfare organization 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 more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com.