A) Federal

A: Federal Legislation: Acts and Regulations and Case Law

How a Government Bill becomes Law - Canada


Criminal Code of Canada

Summary in relation to Animal Law:
In Canada, the Criminal Code of Canada controls human behavior in relation to animal suffering. It  defines the limitations and sets out the penalties if there are breaches. Canada treats animals as property. Property rights include the rights of possession, the rights of use, and the enjoyment of property to the exclusion of humans. The Criminal Code of Canada under Part XI sets out the Wilful and Forbidden Acts in Respect of Certain Property.

An important question to ask: does the present Criminal Code of Canada go far enough to protect those rights of animals?

Federal Animal Cruelty Law In Canada
  

 à
Original Criminal Code

  • The original animal cruelty sections of the Criminal Code were originally enacted in 1892 with only minor amendments made in the mid-1950’s

  • The current offences are archaic and inadequate, resulting in many animal abusers escaping prosecution

    àWeaknesses of the Current Criminal Code

  • Cattle and other working animals have more protection than other species Unowned animals have less protection than owned animals

  • Crimes of neglect are very difficult to prosecute due to the term ‘wilful neglect’

  • Animal cruelty crimes are considered property offences

  • It is not an offence to train animals to fight other animals, nor to receive money from the fighting of animals

  • There is no specific offence for particularly violent, brutal crimes   against animals

  • No additional protection is afforded to law enforcement animals

Bill S-203

  • Received Royal Assent April 17th, 2008

  • Strongly opposed by all animal protection groups

  • Opposed by the NDP and some Liberal MPs

What did it change?

  • Made no changes at all to the offences

  • Made animal cruelty crimes hybrid offences so they can be charged as summary conviction or indictable

  • Maximum penalties are 5-year jail term, unlimited fines and lifetime prohibition on animal ownership

  • Specifically allows for restitution for agencies that care for abused animals

Bill C-229

  • Private member’s bill tabled by MP Mark Holland in 2009 (identical to C-373)

  • Identical to a bill that passed in the House of Commons in 2003 with the support of all parties

  • Supported by animal protection groups and the majority of animal use industries

What does it change?

  • Modernizes the wording and fixes the gaping loopholes in the offences

  • Protects all animals equally, regardless of species and whether they are owned or not

  • Introduces the term ‘negligent’ instead of ‘wilful neglect’

  • Moves animal cruelty out of the property section of the Criminal Code

  • Introduces an offence of killing an animal brutally or viciously

  • Adds an offence of training animals to fight other animals and receiving money from animal fighting

  • Adds a specific offence for cruelty to law enforcement animals

  • Makes animal cruelty crimes hybrid offences so they can be charged as summary conviction or indictable

  • Maximum penalties are 5-year jail term, unlimited fines and lifetime prohibition on animal ownership

  • Specifically allows for restitution for agencies that care for abused animals

What does it not change?

  • Maintains key words that describe the offences – such as ‘wilfully or recklessly’ and ‘without lawful excuse’

  • Maintaining these words assures protection for animal use activities such as    farming, hunting, fishing, trapping and scientific research

(Source: http://cfhs.ca)

Differences between current law, Bill S-203 and Bill C-229 (formerly C-373)


B) Animal Cruelty Amendments at a Glance

(Source: http://cfhs.ca)

There have been a number of attempts to expand the protection of animals. The Parliament of Canada has made many unsuccessful attempts to update the Code. Numerous Bills have been presented to amend the Criminal Code. Bill s-203 presented by Senator John Bryden is the only piece of legislation passed on April 17, 2008 that effect animal rights. It falls short of amending the animal cruelty sections but does increase the sentences. All other Bills have fallen by the wayside due to a number of reasons one of which is the process of a minority government. Hopefully, C-50 presented by MP Mike Holland, the somewhat identical Bill C558 presented by Penny Priddy NDP, or C-229 are proclaimed. A review of these Bills is important. REVIEW.


C) Animal Pedigree Act

To promote breed improvement and to protect persons who raise and purchase animals + establish pedigree associations. 

D) Species at Risk Act ( Royal Assent Dec. 12, 2002)

The purpose of this Act is to prevent indigenous species, subspecies, and distinct populations of wildlife from becoming extinct. The Act sets up a Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. It preserves Aboriginal treaty rights. It lists and names all of the wildlife at risk. It provides for enforcement officers and inspection rights during investigation. It sets out the offences that provide prosecution. It provides the penalties and alternative measures in the sentencing process.

E) NCC Animal Regulations


The regulations try to control dogs in the Greenbelt surrounding Ottawa. It is under the jurisdiction of the federal government in Canada. It restricts walking in these public lands – 2 pets, pickup waste, no swimming, divided into 3 areas (leashed vs off-leash), service dog exemptions, no cycling, skiing, in-line with dog. It is enforced by NCC conservation officers. The fines vary from minor infractions ($100) to $300 for major infractions including biting.

F)
Canada Wildlife Act Canada

G) Canadian Environmental Assessment Act

H)
Migratory Birds Convention Act

I) Wild Life and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Agreement