Supreme Court Bestiality Decision is a Wakeup Call

Photo : Etienne Ranger, archives LeDroit
Photo : Etienne Ranger, archives LeDroit

Montreal, June 10 2016 – In a long awaited decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that using an animal for sexual gratification is legal as long as it does not involve penetration.

The case involved a British-Columbia man charged with sexually abusing his two underage step-daughters over the course of several years, including, on some occasions, by forcing the family dog to lick the genitals of one of the victims. The man was found guilty of several criminal offences, including bestiality for the incidents involving the dog. The man appealed this charge, arguing that the offence necessarily requires penetration. His argument made it all the way to the Supreme Court. Despite hearing from both the Crown and Animal Justice Canada, an animal protection organization who intervened in the case, the majority of judges ruled that, as it currently stands, the offence of bestiality does in fact require penetration and that any broadening of the offence must necessarily come from Parliament.

“Clearly, this is wake up call. Parliament must act now to ensure that animals are protected from sexual exploitation, and from any other type of abuse for that matter”, said Me Sophie Gaillard, lawyer for the Montreal SPCA’s animal advocacy department. “And this is exactly what Bill C-246, currently before the House of Commons, aims to do. The Bill, introduced by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, would make much needed updates to the provisions of the Criminal Code dealing with animal cruelty, including closing the unacceptable loophole that continues to allow sexual conduct involving animals. This is the reason why we ask people who are shocked by the decision of the Supreme Court, to contact their MPs today and ask them to support Bill C-246″.

Please, contact your MP today and ask them to support Bill C-246.


Media contact: Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or anitak@spca.com.

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 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.

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