The current animal cruelty sections of the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC) are shockingly out of date. The wording of the CCC is largely unchanged since it was written in 1892 and enacted by Queen Victoria. The CCC affords greater protection for cattle and other working animals “kept for a lawful purpose” and as such provides almost no protection for wild or stray animals. It is extremely difficult to prosecute cases of neglect, such as puppy mills because of paradoxical wording in which the prosecution must prove “willful neglect”.
If nothing is done to enhance the current provision in the Criminal Code, dogs across Canada will continue to be exploited for profit with little to no protection under the law.
As the foundation for future advocacy activities to enhance the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC), the CFHS will create a ‘snapshot’ report on the Canadian puppy mill industry to help Canadians (public and politicians) better understand the scope and scale of this deplorable problem. As the basis of the CFHS Puppy Mill Report the CFHS will quantify the number of puppy mill dogs that are being sold on-line, identify where there are bans on the selling of dogs in pet stores, provide an overview of existing online restrictions and present a collection of case studies on what is currently being done to combat puppy mills across the country.
The policy research presented through the CFHS Puppy Mill Report will be used to advocate for the modernization of the current animal cruelty provisions of the CCC so that enforcement officers and prosecutors have the laws they need to convict puppy mill operators of cruelty and put them out of business.
The CFHS Puppy Mill Report will protect dogs at risk (in puppy mills) by helping us enhance the CCC, closing loopholes that let abuses at puppy mills to continue. Every year breeding dogs and their puppies suffer at the hands of puppy mill operators.
Example: a 2011 puppy mill raid resulted in the rescue of 500+ dogs from a Quebec breeding facility. The owners pleaded guilty to just 17 charges of animal cruelty and were subjected to a court ordered ban on operating a kennel for 2-years. It’s likely that they will be back in business shortly.
The CFHS Puppy Mill Report will be the first of its kind in Canada to quantify the scope and impact of Canada’s puppy mill industry. Therefore, it will be the ‘go-to’ research document for animal welfare organizations and government to rely on when making decisions about policy and legislation. Enhanced protection through the CCC will result in more puppy mill seizures and convictions under the CCC.
This report will impact the lives of all vulnerable dogs stuck in Canadian puppy mills while making Canada a more humane place to live for all Canadians.
The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies continues to educate Canadian Members of Parliament and Senators on the current state of Canadian animal welfare, including companion animals and farm animals.
Through the distribution of our Political Animal publication to the Senate and House of Commons, we are further engaging MPs on animal welfare in Canada and opening discussions on what is happening in their local constituencies.
You can access a digital copy of Political Animal at: http://cfhs.ca/law/
Once key area that we will be focussing on this year is the potential to introduce legislation to put an end to puppy mills in Canada.
Our work to educate our lawmakers continues to gain momentum thanks to your support. Stay Tuned!
The CFHS has always had a very strong and positivie relationship with the Federal government; from our very beginnings Prime Ministers, Governor Generals, Senators and MPs have played active roles in our activities.
This strong relationship was evident as the CFHS hosted 80+ MPs and Senators recently at a reception on Parliament Hill. Hosted by Mr. Bruce Stanton, Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees as a Whole and Mr. Rick Dykstra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the CFHS and its members promoted the role that humane societies and SPCAs play at the local level and the role that the CFHS fills at the National.
Out of that reception there came a new-found enthusiasm within Canada's political parties on issues surrounding animal welfare and protection in Canada. When the next opportunity to influence the Criminal Code of Canada arises, the CFHS will be the first animal welfare group to be contacted for its input.
As the year moves ahead, all of the farm animal code groups have made great strides towards their final codes. New national Codes of Practice for the welfare of horses, pigs, cattle and sheep are now entering the final stages of negotiation. Public comment periods will be held in fall of 2012 and early 2013, providing an opportunity to the public to express their expectations for Canada to meet higher standards.
If you are interested in being involved in that process, please let me know email@example.com.
Convened by the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), the Codes set out minimum requirements for treatment of all farm animals in Canada and serve as reference documents for animal cruelty law. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies serves as the voice of the Canadian humane movement at the table.
As the Gov't is preparing to sit again, we are busy preparing our next issue of Political Animal, our flagship advocacy and education publication for our Parliamentarians and Senators.
Our work to educate our lawmakers continues to gain momentum thanks to your support.
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