For immediate release
Press release : Bill 54: Historic victory for the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) Canada!
Montreal, December 27th, 2015 – On Friday, December 4th, Bill 54 was passed unanimously by the National Assembly of Quebec. This law will improve animal welfare and safety in Quebec. SPA Canada was behind the movement that brought about restrictions on puppy mill owners and ensured increased protection for other animals.
This success is the fruit of eight years of tireless campaigning by SPA Canada. In 2007, the organization mounted its provincial campaign to make puppy mills illegal in Quebec. That same year, more than 50,000 people signed a petition started by SPA Canada. In 2008, a hundred people, accompanied by dogs saved from puppy mills, assembled at the offices of then Premier Jean Charest to deliver the petitions. Minister Geoffrey Kelley, then deputy, came to meet the demonstrators and assured SPA Canada that he would make looking into the issue a priority. The next day, at the request of then Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mr. Claude Béchard, Mr. Kelley confirmed to the media that he would set up a task force on animal welfare in order to improve the current law, not only to address the issue of puppy mills but to better protect all animals in Quebec.
After receiving these promises, SPA Canada continued to pressure the government and fight. Since 2007, public awareness agents have taken to the streets across the province to collect petition signatures, educate the public on the cruelties of puppy mills, animal abuse, and the absence of laws regulating them. Over the years, this represents over 17,000 hours actively spreading awareness and information on the ground!
SPA Canada’s efforts did not stop there: regional demonstrations, conferences, debates and meetings with public officials and media were organized regularly. Several inquiries to track, document and index puppy mills in Quebec were led. A mechanism created to anonymously report puppy mills was installed to encourage the public to be proactive in this fight. And, of course, SPA Canada has always made itself available to citizens, media outlets, law enforcement and politicians to answer any questions on the subject. Public personalities such as Brigitte Bardot, Patricia Tulasne, Georges Laraque, Joëlle Morin and Jacques Godin have joined forces with SPA Canada to demand legislation that eliminates puppy mills and improves animal rights.
SPA Canada wishes to express its deep gratitude to the general public and all animal protection organizations, near and far, who have participated in this historic victory.
There is still work to be done. This new law contains several shortcomings: it does not protect several categories of animals such as exotic, circus and livestock animals. Certain cruel treatments are still not punishable by law. Declawing, for example, is still allowed in Quebec even though it is currently illegal in 18 countries. (For more information, please see our press release “Law 54 : Will Quebec really treat animals better? ”.) This is why SPA Canada will continue its fight to improve the law by including all animal species, among other things.
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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