MP Murray Rankin and MP Alistair MacGregor: Liberals fail to overhaul animal protection provisions

While the Liberals have been promising to overhaul animal protection provisions in the Criminal Code ever since they defeated Bill C-246, the cross-partisan Animal Protection Act, the Justice Minister’s proposed legislation misses the mark. Though Bill C-84 includes important changes cracking down on bestiality and animal fighting for sport, it fails to include basic standards of care and housing, as well as restrictions on tethering for domestic animals.

“Canada’s criminal laws pertaining to animals have not been substantively changed since 1892, despite the fact that 92% of Canadians want to make it easier to secure convictions for animal cruelty offences,” added NDP Justice Critic, Murray Rankin. “Animal cruelty goes far beyond bestiality and animal fighting; while we support the measures included in the Bill today, I look forward to examining it further so we can work together to significantly update our laws, including provisions protecting domestic animals.”
The NDP has a long history of standing up for animal rights and for proposing legislation to tackle animal abuse. On this matter, New Democrats have been pushing for common sense measures including the creation of a new gross negligence offence for failing to provide adequate care and allowing courts to impose a lifelong ban on animal ownership for repeat offenders.

“In February, Teddy the Dog died after being kept in horrendous conditions in one of the BCSPCA’s most profoundly shocking and disturbing animal abuse cases,” said NDP MP for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, Alistair MacGregor. “At that time, I asked the Minister to take immediate action to put greater protections in place for our domestic pets, but what we got today was just a drop in the bucket after a long wait. We owe it to our animal friends to strengthen the language protecting domestic pets, so that cases like this never happen again.”

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