Quebec Remains Best Province To Be An Animal Abuser

Posted on July 9, 2012

Animal Legal Defense Fund’s 2012 Report Ranks Laws Across the Country; B.C., Newfoundland & Labrador Show Most Improvement

For immediate release:

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

Canadian Law RankingsSAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Quebec, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Prince Edward Island 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 fifth 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 2012 for providing strong protections for animals.

Top Tier: 1. Manitoba
2. British Columbia

4. Nova Scotia
Middle Tier: 5. Newfoundland & Labrador
6. New Brunswick

8. Alberta
9. Saskatchewan
Bottom Tier: 10. Prince Edward Island
Northwest Territories
13. Nunavut

Why is Quebec in the dog house when it comes to getting tough on animal abusers? Despite some improvements to its animal protection law since last year’s report, including a broadening of species coverage and the promulgation of new standards of care for dogs and cats, Quebec held its position as the province with the weakest animal protection legislation.

On the other end of the spectrum, Manitoba and Ontario continue to occupy the top tier, but are now joined by British Columbia, which made considerable improvements to its animal protection legislation since last year’s report. Most notably, the province enacted stiffer penalties, with animal abusers now facing up to two years imprisonment and a $75,000 fine. Additionally, British Columbia now specifically targets animal fighting and requires veterinarians to report suspected animal abuse or neglect. Newfoundland & Labrador also showed significant improvement in 2012–the province broadened its range of protections, made veterinarian reporting of suspected abuse mandatory, enacted new animal fighting provisions, and drastically increased maximum penalties (the maximum fine went up from $500 to $50,000).

“Animals do not vote, but those who love and care about them do,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “It is our hope that these ongoing reviews continue to garner support for both the strengthening and enforcement of animal protection laws throughout Canada.”

Read 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.

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