SPA Canada in the article by Paule Vermot-Desroches of the Nouvelliste

SPA Canada in the article by Paule Vermot-Desroches of the Nouvelliste: Les rodéos peuvent respecter la Loi sur le bien-être animal, dit Laurent Lessard. (Rodeos can respect the Animal Welfare Act, says Laurent Lessard)

TROIS-RIVIÈRES – The Minister of Agriculture Laurent Lessard, whose ministry is in charge of the application of the Animal Welfare and Safety Act, believes that rodeos can respect the Animal Welfare and Safety Act voted in 2015.

‘’We think that rodeos, in Quebec and elsewhere, with best practices, can respect the law regarding animal welfare.’’ he declared during a media scrum in Quebec City, reacting to the publication of the report by the committee of observers put into place by Law professor Alain Roy to evaluate the legality of Montreal and St. Tite’s rodeos.

The Minister says that he is waiting for the conclusions by the Work Committee put into place in collaboration with the MAPAQ, the Western Festival and Alain Roy’s representatives in order to receive the protocol for the framework of rodeo best practices in the name of animal welfare.

‘’I want this framework protocol now. We met the St. Tite Festival recently and I expect the submission of a protocol and we will evaluate it. We will be able to follow up on it as a ministry, to have accountability. We will be able to have better support, do better risk assessment.’’ Laurent Lessard indicates, recognising that the debate divides public opinion and that things cannot stay in the air.

In that respect, the Minister for Tourism and responsible for the Mauricie region, Julie Boulet, came to the defense of the St. Tite Western Festival’s practices, that have been put into question in the observers’ report. 

‘’The Western Festival has always conformed. There are inspectors, veterinarians from the Ministry on site every year. They have always conformed, always made sure to have best practices regarding the animals. In this context, it is an exceptional economic driver for the region, so if they do things well, respecting animal welfare, they will be allowed to continue their activities.’’ the Minister ensures.

The SPA reacts

Late Wednesday evening, the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) Canada, through a press release, was outraged by the reactions of the Quebec Minister for Tourism, Julie Boulet. ‘’By ensuring the continuation of the St. Tite Western Festival’s activities, despite the observers’ report on rodeos showing that they subject bulls and horses to grievous wounds, she accepts the illegality of Quebec rodeos according to chapter P-42 of the Animal Health Protection Act.’’ the SPA Canada indicates.

‘’It is inconceivable to make the suffering of an animal a public attraction.’’ Elise Moreau, communications officer for the SPA Canada, deplores.

The SPA Canada says that it believes that animal welfare has to take precedence over the financial profit it can bring.

‘’For that, the only solution is to eradicate all rodeo shows. We call upon the Quebec jurisdiction to apply this law correctly and to eradicate rodeos in the province, joining many other jurisdictions such as England, Scotland, the Netherlands and the City of Vancouver.’’ the SPA Canada adds.

To read the article (FRENCH) :