Quebec Remains Best Province to be an Animal Abuser

Posted on July 28, 2013

Animal Legal Defense Fund’s 2013 Report Ranks Laws Across the Country; Finds Little Improvement in 2013

For immediate release:

Contact:
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund

SAN FRANCISCO — Quebec, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Saskatchewan are the best provinces and territories in Canada to be an animal abuser, according to a new report released today by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). Based on a detailed comparative analysis of the animal protection laws of each jurisdiction, the report recognizes the provinces and territories where laws protecting animals have real teeth, and calls out those like Quebec and Nunavut—the worst in Canada this year for animal protection laws—where animal abusers get off easy. ALDF’s sixth annual report, the only one of its kind in the nation, ranks every province and territory on the relative strength and general comprehensiveness of its animal protection laws. Manitoba, British Columbia, and Ontario take top honors in 2013 for providing strong protections for animals.

For the report’s sixth edition, a new category relating to breed specific legislation was added to the methodology used to determine the rankings. As a result, Ontario—the only jurisdiction to have enacted province-wide legislation banning a breed of dog based on reputation rather than on actual conduct—lost a number of points this year. In spite of this decreased score, Ontario continues to occupy the top tier, along with Manitoba, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia.

2013-small-canadian-rankings-map

TOP TIER

1

Manitoba

2

British Columbia

3

Ontario

4

Nova Scotia

MIDDLE TIER

5

Newfoundland & Labrador

6

New Brunswick

7

Yukon

8

Alberta

9

Prince Edward Island

BOTTOM TIER

10

Saskatchewan

11

Northwest Territories

12

Quebec

13

Nunavut

Why is Quebec once again in the doghouse when it comes to getting tough on animal abusers? Quebec did make improvements to its animal protection law since last year’s report, including expanding restrictions on future ownership of animals upon conviction, enacting stiffer penalties—with animal abusers now facing a fine of up to $25,000 for a first offence and up to $75,000 for repeat offenders—and a broadening of its authority over animal facilities. However, Quebec still held its position as the province with the weakest animal protection legislation, joined in the bottom tier by Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

On the other end of the spectrum, Manitoba and Ontario continue to occupy the top tier, along with Nova Scotia and British Columbia. Prince Edward Island moved up in the rankings from last year, after making changes to its Animal Health Protection Act, which addresses the protection of farmed animals. Other improvements in Prince Edward Island include newly available restrictions on future ownership of animals upon conviction, as well as a significant increase in maximum penalties (the maximum fine went up from $2,000 to $15,000).

“Animal lovers must be a voice for animals with their vote,” says ALDF executive director Stephen Wells. “Our annual reports aim to gather support for the movement to strengthen and enforce animal protection laws throughout the Canadian provinces.”

The full report, including an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the animal protection laws of each province and territory, and a detailed rankings map are available at aldf.org. ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing interests of animals through the legal system. ALDF’s latest edition of the “Animal Protection Laws of the U.S.A. and Canada” compendium is also available at aldf.org.

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