Press release: Pierre Paradis: À quand les changements concrets pour les animaux? Un nouveau statut freinera-t-il vraiment la cruauté animale?
For immediate release
Press release: Pierre Paradis: When will we see concrete changes for animals? Will a new statute really curb animal cruelty?
Montreal, May 15, 2015 – Mr. Pierre Paradis, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fishing and Food (MAPAQ), has reiterated on May 12 the imminent publication of his draft legislation aiming to modify the Civil Code to give animals the status of sentient living beings.
The Civil Code of Quebec and the Criminal Code of Canada consider animals like an asset, going against scientific progress showing that animals are blessed with cognitive and emotional capacities.
There is reason to interrogate ourselves on the status of animals. ‘’If the legislation treats animals as an asset, while giving them a particular quality, they remain a property, which does not represent an evolution for the animal.’’ Gabriel Villeneuve, Director of campaigns at the SPA Canada, reminds us. If we give them the status of a separate legal entity having certain rights, this puts into question industrial breeding and the notion of property, opening a Pandora’s box that ministerial parties would rather keep shut.
Pierre Paradis says he took inspiration from France where all animals have the status of sentient beings. He would also benefit from taking inspiration from Switzerland, the United States, Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia, having all already undertaken legal considerations on animal welfare.
The Animal Health Protection Act specifies that owners of animals in captivity that cause harm are subject to fines as well as dispossession of the animals. However, the MAPAQ and the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks refuse to enforce the law and leave behind abused and suffering animals.
This refusal is explained by the outcries of the animal industry, the lack of budget allocated to inspections, the absence of an animal law court and the small number of lawyers interested in animal law.
‘’No statute will have consequences if the legislation is not enforced by the responsibles for these laws.’’ Mr. Villeneuve deplores. It is imperative that we define animal welfare to integrate daily best practices and establish mandatory norms as well as give out more coercive judgements.
Quebec would gain from gaining some speed in regards to this cause, since animal welfare is a worldwide movement. For the moment, it remains last within Canadian provinces in terms of legislation relative to animal welfare.
About SPA Canada:
SPA Canada is a national nonprofit animal rights organization dedicated to creating awareness and educating people on respecting all animal species.
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Press release (French) http://zc.vg/U9hie?m=0