Animal Cruelty Legislation

by Humane Canada
Animal Cruelty Legislation
Animal Cruelty Legislation
Animal Cruelty Legislation
Animal Cruelty Legislation

Project Report | Apr 1, 2024
Success for Strychnine Ban! Coercive Control and Horse Export updates!

By Melissa Devlin | Manager, Annual Donor Relations & Engagement


We are happy to report to you another success for animals in Canada! Health Canada has banned the cruel use of strychnine poisoning on wildlife, which will take effect by September 2024.  Strychnine has been used for decades - particularly on wolves and coyotes and kills by causing muscle cramps that eventually strangle the animal.

This groundbreaking decision reverses a proposed ruling in 2022, which would have allowed some uses of strychnine to continue. Humane Canada has long opposed strychnine and our work on this issue started many years ago. We are thrilled to see it finally come to an end.

In other news, Bill C-355: Prohibition of the Export of Horses by Air for Slaughter Act moved to the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. Some of the members spoke out against the bill, citing concerns that it would cause harm to live horse export producers and that current laws are being followed with respect to the transport of the animals. Other members spoke to the strong support from the public this bill is receiving, with Winnipeg South Centre Member Ben Carr stating that his constituency office was receiving about 30 emails of support for it every minute.

Shannon Nix, from the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food made comments stating that, based on letters to Members of Parliament, petitions that have been submitted and public opinion polls, it appears that Canadians are largely opposed to the export of live horses for slaughter, citing petition E 3187 is one of the most signed e-petitions on record, with more than 77,000 signatures. 

Humane Canada submitted a brief to the Committee which sets out the risks to these animals before, during and after transport outside of the mandated inspections that are completed by CFIA prior to travel. Horses raised for consumption are not predisposed to air travel, which subjects them to further undue stress, and conditions at the other end of their journey are not overseen by CFIA, which poses risks.

Humane Canada is advocating for the inclusion of animals in another Bill, C-332: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (controlling or coercive conduct) which went to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights Committee. Coercive control is a pattern of behaviours that is intended to isolate, humiliate, exploit, or dominate a person. The vulnerability of animals used as tools in coercive control has not been included in the original version of the bill, and Humane Canada has worked hard to change that.

On February 26th, Humane Canada CEO Barbara Cartwright addressed the Committee to remind them that when people are at risk, their animals are at risk because they are often a sole source of support for someone in a violent relationship, which also makes them a target for violence. She finished by saying that abuse towards animals is not always considered by the courts or law enforcement, particularly in the absence of injury. Therefore, enshrining patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour that explicitly includes animals under section 2 would add clarity to the law for law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and criminal justice stakeholders, but more importantly, to victims and survivors. 

On March 18th, we were thrilled to see that our collective efforts resulted in an amendment that ensures survivors' animals are included. This historic decision by the Parliamentary committee acknowledges the deep-seated link between human and animal violence, that if passed will be recognized in the Criminal Code. While we savor this victory for animals and survivors of violence, our mission isn’t over as this bill is progressing towards its 3rd reading in the House of Commons and then onto the Senate.

We know that successes like this aren’t possible without our community. Progress and lasting change can take years of constant effort and is made possible because of donors like you. Please donate to support our continued advocacy work and help create future change for animal welfare. 


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Dec 4, 2023
2023 Animal Cruelty Legislation Achievements

By Melissa Devlin | Manager, Annual Donor Relations & Engagement

Aug 4, 2023
Monumental Achievements for Animal Welfare: Bill S-5 and Bill C-47 have passed!

By Melissa Devlin | Manager, Annual Donor Relations & Engagement

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Organization Information

Humane Canada

Location: Ottawa, ON - Canada
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @humanecanada
Project Leader:
Melissa Devlin
Ottawa , ON Canada

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