Worst Places to Be an Animal Abuser

Posted on July 7, 2015

Animal Legal Defense Fund’s 2015 Report Ranks Laws Across the Country, Nova Scotia Moves Up to Second Place

For immediate release:

Megan Backus, ALDF

SAN FRANCISCO — Manitoba, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Ontario are the worst provinces 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 eighth 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, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Ontario continue to take top honors in 2015 for providing strong protections for animals.  In these provinces, animal protection laws cover most species, require veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty, and include incarceration and large fines as possible penalties in cases of non-compliance. Additionally, legislation in all four provinces takes into account animals’ ability to suffer psychologically—at least for certain species.

Top Tier:

  1. Manitoba
  2. Nova Scotia
  3. British Columbia
  4. Ontario

Middle Tier:     

  1. Newfoundland & Labrador
  2. New Brunswick
  3. Yukon
  4. Alberta
  5. Prince Edward Island

Bottom Tier:  

  1. Saskatchewan
  2. Northwest Territories
  3. Quebec
  4. Nunavut

Nova Scotia shows the most significant improvement, moving from fourth to second position. Nova Scotia’s improved ranking is attributable to its enactment of stiffer maximum penalties, with animal abusers now facing fines up to $75,000 and imprisonment for up to two years for a third or subsequent offence. The province also broadened the range of protections benefitting animals, including protection against being kept in unsanitary conditions and protection from abandonment that is likely to cause distress. Additionally, Nova Scotia’s amended legislation now explicitly recognizes animals’ ability to suffer psychologically.

Quebec continues to occupy the bottom tier when it comes to animal protection, along with Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. However, with the recent introduction of a new bill designed to significantly enhance the province’s animal protection legislation, ALDF is hopeful that Quebec – currently ranked the best province to be an animal abuser – will show marked improvement in next year’s rankings.

“Our annual reports aim to gather support to strengthen and enforce animal protection laws throughout the Canadian provinces,” says ALDF executive director Stephen Wells. “We encourage Canadian citizens to contact their elected officials and voice their support for strong and comprehensive laws protecting animals.”

The full report, including an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the animal protection laws of each province and territory, are available at aldf.org/canadarankings. ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing interests of animals through the legal system.

7 thoughts on “Worst Places to Be an Animal Abuser

  1. Vicki Gillam says:

    Abuse of animals should be made a Federal Offence with prison time and high fines and prevented from ever owning an animal. It would also be of assistance to the men and women in all forms of policing as the slugs who will abuse animals usually to the same or worse to humans.

  2. N S says:

    And why until now these top tier province did not outlaw feline declawing which, sadly, is being done and spreading to even other animals now such as rabbits and dogs?. In all animal abuses that I see or hear about, declawing is the only one that is actually legal, it is a legal animal abuse and cruelty, how ironic?!!!. Under the law you can abuse, mutilate and ruin cats for the rest of their lives. It is more ironic that the ALDF is not doing anything about it, I did not even see a mention of it on their website. We claim to be civilized but we are not, the rest of the world who made declawing illegal is civilized

  3. I am glad all these petitions and people speaking out for innocent animals.

  4. shirley furgoch says:

    It’s encouraging to see statistics on where we are as a nation. I sign hundreds of petitions and send many letters to gov’t officials regarding issues on animal abuse…I never know if all of this is making a difference but now I feel that my voice may have been heard.

  5. Andy says:

    This means little to nothing because even the province in 1st place does virtually nothing to protect animals :(

  6. Larry says:

    Thanks for doing this work and publicizing it.

  7. Sandra George says:

    So good to hear we are making such improvements. Let’s strive for #1.

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