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 Animals  Canada Project #30406

No Animals Left Behind - Help Them Escape Violence

by Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
No Animals Left Behind - Help Them Escape Violence

On Monday June 17th Bill C-84, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code pertaining to Bestiality and Animal Fighting, passed through Parliament and into LAW!  

This law does two things. It broadens the definition of bestiality in the Criminal Code making any sexual contact with an animal illegal. Bill C-84 signals Canada’s new priority on fighting animal crimes, which protects animals AND people too. What makes it ground-breaking is it that anyone convicted of animal sex abuse will now be required to register on Canada’s national Sex Offender Registry and to report annually to police.

This is a crucial improvement to our laws because sexual predators often use animals to groom or control the children and other vulnerable people they abuse. A recent report from the Center for Child Protection found that 87 per cent of the bestiality cases it studied also involved the sex abuse of children.

Tracking animal sex offenders protects children from their abusers by recognizing how violence against humans is linked to violence against animals. This is a Canadian first!

Secondly; encouraging, aiding or assisting in the fighting or baiting of animals is now an offence under the Criminal Code. Any person found breeding, training, keeping and transporting animals for fighting, as well as profiting from these fights will be subjected to criminal offence charges. This law protects communities, as animal fighting is often linked to organized crime. Bill C-84 also breaks new ground by extending animal fighting laws beyond cock fights to include all animals. It’s now a crime not only to attend an animal fight, but also to organize and host fights, train animals, broadcast fights or profit from the crime in any way.

Police know that dog fighting is usually associated with other criminal and gang activity. This is another way that Bill C-84 helps people while saving innocent animals from deadly cruelty.

Recently, animal welfare has not been a high priority for Canada’s law makers. Instead, it’s been a lighting rod issue that caused division and frustration. For 20 years now, we’ve struggled to update the simplest piece of legislation that protects animals – the animal cruelty section of the criminal code. It was originally enacted in the late 1800s. It’s sorely outdated and is out of step with modern Canadian life, animal welfare science and criminal law.

We look forward to a progressive future for the welfare of animals in Canada and we celebrate that thanks to your support of our work this critical piece of legislation was updated.

Links:

With every hour that ticks by and day that passes, we grow closer and closer to Parliament shutting down and animals lives hang in the balance.

We are racing against the clock to ensure a critical pieces of animal welfare legislation doesn’t fall by the wayside; Bill C-84 which will strengthen protections against bestiality and animal fighting.

In a tumultuous political time, it is all too easy for animal welfare to be pushed lower and lower down the legislative agenda. We need you to help us ensure that doesn’t happen… And I can promise we will fight until the very last second to get these important bills made into law.

Animals cannot advocate for themselves. So we must advocate for them.

Bill C-84 seeks to strengthen the bestiality and animal fighting sections of the Criminal Code, removing loopholes that have benefited violent offenders.

This is a vital piece of legislation I have personally been working on for many years. I was devastated to see these proposed protections removed from government consideration a number of years ago, and I will be devastated if history repeats itself now when parliament prorogues.

The link between violence towards animals and violence towards children is well-documented and deeply troubling.  We know now that there are high rates of concurrent animal and child sexual abuse – a phenomenon known as the “Violence Link”.

When the Supreme Court effectively reduced bestiality to an act of penetration in 2016, they left some of the most vulnerable members of our society at risk: animals and children. When sex crimes towards animals cannot be prosecuted despite video proof based on a technicality of the law, we know something has to change. 

On May 8th, we were thrilled when the House of Commons unanimously accepted Bill C-84’s passage. It’s now headed to the Senate and we look forward to keeping you updated. After all, it’s your support that has brought the Bill this far!

The upcoming election has taken over the Parliamentary agenda, and we are often fighting an uphill battle to get the attention and focus animal rights legislation needs.  

You might recall Quanto’s Law, which amended the Criminal Code to protect law enforcement animals, military animals and service animals and to ensure offenders who harm those animals or assault peace officers are held fully accountable. 

I can promise you we are more committed than ever to making Bill C-84 a reality.

Together, we will amplify our voices until the urgent need for this law is heard by the decision-makers in parliament.

To follow the developments on these and other bills follow us on social media @humanecanada

Links:

Humane Canada and Ottawa Police Services have completed Canada’s first ever training for front-line officers, as well as partner and sexual assault and child abuse detectives on the link between violence against humans and animals.

This training saw 48 officers from across Ontario receive training from noted forensic psychiatrist Dr. Peter Collins and animal behaviour scientist Dr. Rebecca Ledger.

Officers learned about the link between violence against people and animals, the psychology of perpetrators and how the link relates to conviction and sentencing.

Animal abuse cases have nuances that police officers do not normally deal with, and knowing what to look for will help determine if people are also being abused in the home. This can be lifesaving information.

Our goal is to make this training available to police forces right across Canada, and your support will ensure that we can continue to press forward on this important work.

This work is part of the advances made after the first Canadian Violence Link Conference held in Ottawa in 2017. We are excited to announce that a follow up summit has been scheduled for November 21-22, 2019 in Toronto where we will again be convening this important meeting of the minds to further Canada's work on the violence link. This conference will examine the link between violence against humans and animals, looking at the vulnerabilities in both populations and how various sectors can learn from each other and gather the necessary tools to stop the cycle of violence.

Links:

When women with pets consider fleeing abusive homes, they have very few choices:

  1. Remain in their homes where they, their children and their pets are subjected to continued violence
  2. Leave their pets behind, uncertain about their safety
  3. Choose to separate from their pets and leave them with a friend or family member

It is important to understand the bond between women, children and their pets, and how much joy and comfort they bring. We know that pets provide emotional and psychological benefits by reducing stress, anxiety, loneliness and isolation. They increase women’s ability to handle difficult situations and trauma and are seen as important sources of non-judgmental social support.

With these benefits in mind, and understanding that the lack of animal housing in most VAW shelters in Canada represents a significant barrier to leaving, the team at Interval House of Ottawa has built a new animal housing area as part of its shelter. Thanks to support from Community Veterinary Outreach, VCA Canada, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies,  and many of you, this project has now become a reality! The new animal housing area opened on June 19, 2018.

The Interval House of Ottawa animal housing area cost $130,000 to build, from start to finish. The price is well worth it when you consider the countless human and animal lives that will be saved. Now, families can escape violence together and find a new beginning without sacrificing the safety of any humans or animals in the process.

 

2018 Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference

The National Centre for the Prosecution of Animal Cruelty (NCPAC) will hold its fourth annual Animal Cruelty Prosecution Conference in Alberta in November 2018. Crown prosecutors and allied professionals from across the country will be in attendance to share information and resources about animal cruelty prosecution in order to ensure that crimes against animals are prosecuted effectively and efficiently.

 

2019 Canadian Violence Link Conference

We are excited to announce that the 2019 Canadian Violence Link Conference will take place November 21-22, 2019 at the Chelsea Hotel in Toronto. This event is a follow-up to the first-ever national conference on the violence link, which our organization presented in Ottawa in December 2017. Inspired by the network-building, sharing of ideas and successful outcomes of the 2017 conference, including the establishment of a new national Canadian Violence Link Coalition, we will again be convening this important meeting of the minds to further Canada's work on the violence link. This conference will examine the link between violence against humans and animals, looking at the vulnerabilities in both populations and how various sectors can learn from each other and gather the necessary tools to stop the cycle of violence. For more information on Humane Canada's 2019 Canadian Violence Link Conference, visit clc.humanecanada.ca.

 

Ottawa Police to participate in Violence Link Training

We are also excited to announce that the Ottawa Police will be the first police service in Canada to participate in our Violence Link training course. This pilot program will be for all front-line officers, as well as Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault and Child Abuse detectives. Animal abuse cases have nuances that police officers do not normally deal with, and knowing what to look for will help determine if people are also being abused in the home. This can be lifesaving information.

Our goal is to make this training available to police forces right across Canada, and your support will ensure that we can continue to press forward on this important work.

As the national organization representing Humane Societies and SPCAs in Canada, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is the go-to national voice on animal welfare issues for industry, media, government, non-governmental organizations and the public. But our important work is not possible without your donations!

Links:

The first Violence Link training course to be given to police officers in Canada is now approved! 

This pilot program being developed with one of our partner police forces will be for all front line officers, Partner Abuse, and Sexual Assault and Child Abuse detectives.Animal abuse cases have nuances that police officers do not normally deal with and knowing what to look for to help determine if abuse of humans in the home is happening can be life saving information.

While the content and the format are being finalized, we can tell you that the training will bring together two of Canada’s experts in this area, a forensic psychologist to talk about the psychopathy of the criminal mind and why animal and humane abuse is linked to violent crimeand an Animal Behaviour & Welfare Scientist on how to recognize the signs of abuse in animals.

This Violence Link training will help officers 

  • Identify criminal acts,
  • Strengthen cases going before the courts by training front line officers in what to look for and how to articulate it in court
  • Identify risk factors, protect victims of violent crime, and
  • Prevent further victimization

Having a broader perspective supports dangerous offender applications, victim assistance, crime prevention, and leads to safer communities.

This training would give officers Cues/tools to do further investigation.

Animal cruelty continues to be a grave form of violence that must be addressed. It is a form of violence that is well recognized in the academic literature as being linked directly to violence against humans but it is not well recognized nor prioritized in our social and legal system.

Our goal is to make this training available to police forces right across Canada and your support will ensure that we can continue to press forward on this important work.

 

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Organization Information

Canadian Federation of Humane Societies

Location: Ottawa, ON - Canada
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @humanecanada
Project Leader:
Barbara Cartwright
Ottawa, ON Canada
$5,768 raised of $12,500 goal
 
127 donations
$6,732 to go
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