Friday, October 07, 2016

Why Our Animal Cruelty Laws Must Be Modernized

As you know I hate bullies with a passion. Especially those who bully children and seniors, and those who are cruel to animals.

So it troubles me that although Canada likes to think of itself as an enlightened country, our laws on animal cruelty are barbarous, and haven't been updated since 1892.

And a horrible accident in Ontario the other day, only reinforced my belief that it's time those laws were changed.

For the way some of those pigs were treated was appalling. 

The Ontario SPCA is appealing for witnesses as it investigates how pigs were handled after a transport truck crashed near a local slaughterhouse leading to the death of 42 animals.

Witnesses just outside the Appleby Line plant were disgusted to see injured pigs suffering for hours in the sun without medical attention, said Anna Pippus, a lawyer with Animal Justice.

The sight of the bloodied and traumatized survivors being marched to the slaughterhouse on foot, was for me almost impossible to watch....

And I couldn't help wondering how can you cram 180 pigs into one truck?

And what does that say about they way we treat our farm animals? 

So needless to say I found this very disappointing. 

A fourth attempt to modernize Canada’s century-old animal cruelty laws was put down in the House last night. 

Liberal backbencher Nathaniel Erskine-Smith was hoping his private member’s bill would be sent to committee for study, but it was defeated by a vote of 84-198. Although the rookie MP had strong support from the NDP and the Bloc, there was little to be found in his own party caucus.

It's depressing to see even the most modest bill go down to defeat. Or see some cruel monsters get away with murder.

The woeful inadequacies of Canada’s animal cruelty laws are well-known. Erskine-Smith raised the case of one man who killed his dog with a baseball bat but was acquitted because the judge ruled the death was quick. 

In 2002, a man who skinned a cat alive and videotaped the deed received a slap on the wrist, in part because the animal was a stray and therefore no human’s property.

And Camille Labchuk from Animal Justice is right to demand that the Liberal government keep its promise to modernize those cruelty laws.

“The fact is we can’t continue to treat animals like tables and chairs. Our cruelty laws need to be strong enough to be able to punish people to the full extent of the law when animals are abused,” Labchuk says, noting Canada has what is objectively known as the worst animal cruelty legislation in the western world.

Laws that shame us and our country.

For the fact is, when it comes to the treatment of pigs I know we can do better. If you travel through Scotland you will see field after field dotted with these little huts...

Which those smart and sentient animals can use for shelter if it rains or snows, but are otherwise free to roam the grassy fields, and live decent happy lives before they are slaughtered.

Unlike these poor pigs comforting each other after the accident...

Who probably only felt the sunshine and grass under their feet in the last hours and minutes before they were killed.

And whose look in their eyes will haunt me forever.

Please write to your MPs, tell them it's time to modernize our cruelty laws.

And the sooner the better...


  1. Anonymous1:39 PM

    I didn't know you were a vegan! Welcome to the club.

    I'm both elated and disappointed that the bill was voted down. To be honest it never should have made it as far as it did. It was bad law full of hypocrisy. It treated the same thing done to an animal for different reasons as somehow inherently better or worse. There is little difference between fingering a horse for fun or shoving your fist in for profit and by that I mean artificial insemination.

    The whole dog and cat fur part was a directly racist addition that only flew because Canada is so white. You'll note that fox, beaver and other animal skins were not in the bill yet I am fairly certain they are just as attached to them. We could go on to other parts of the bill especially after the sponsor of the bill gutted it.

    The hypocrisy on this I've seen on social media is amazing.

    Let's look at the travesty that is the case that was before the supreme court on bestiality. The man raped his daughters over the course of decades. He once had a dog lick them. Why did anyone waste money getting this to the supreme court? The guy was a screwed up pile of trash, going to jail for a super long time. By every account the dog did nothing that a dog would not want to do.

    I am a zoosexual and if this law had treated everyone the same I would have been 100% behind it. I love animals and they need protecting! But I am not a pervert, a danger, or hurting any animals. Outlawing bestiality will not help any animals because we need to fix the cruelty laws. That will help animals. People who are cruel to animals for any reason need to be stopped.

    By the way, I am a professional, tax payer, worked my whole life both on and off the farm, married for 2 decades to a wonderful person who understands.I always get compliments on the animals I keep, on the beautiful relationships I have with them and how good they themselves are. Those compliments come from people who know what I am and many more from people who don't. I wish I could put my name to this but you and I both know my animals would be destroyed and my life ruined.

    I have so much more to say but I'll finish with a couple of links to a news story about the Danish animal ethics council ( and to a professional with a PhD in Human Sexuality who has studied people like me (

    1. Anonymous3:08 PM

      With the newer breeds of animals appearing, allowing copulation could cause injury to the beasts, so artificial insemination is needed to produce offspring and offset injury. My understanding it was not a stand in support of beastiality, but to allow scientific procedures, and medical procedures to be conducted without being in conflict with the law as written. ~GS

    2. that's a lot of food for thought
      thanks for sharing your perspective, anonymous

    3. Anonymous5:45 PM

      You are a Zoosexual? Forgive me if I'm wrong, but that means you have sex with animals. You're sick.

      "I love animals and they need protecting!" Damn right they need protecting, from you! Simon you should report this wackjob to the authorities before another innocent animal is abused.

    4. idunno GS,
      i'm gonna play rousseau's advocated here and say that we as people have, as a result of scientific pursuits, ended up more messed up than human. (methinks simon's post is in evidence).
      i agree with you - it takes a moment for the brain to adjusts to the uncommon morsel of zoophilia
      it's hard to keep your mind curious and your heart open, present in every minute; hard not to resort to the free fall of the unexamined automata
      it's hard to stay human.

    5. Anonymous2:43 AM

      Luce Forma6:39 PM, I don't disagree. We are treading into areas that we may be best not entering, but mankind has never been afraid of opening Pandora's box. Industrialized farms are a blight, but they help keep the cost of food down, and the consumer happy, so they have government support. Nature is cruel, death does not always happen nicely nor pleasantly, and the slaughterhouses do not deal with living creatures but with a product. The ones I have visited, the animals were killed quickly and efficiently, but the stress must still be there through smells and sounds. As far as zoophilia, I tend to avoid the subject, but I can understand the concern of breeders and owners of stock if they are suddenly classed as engaging in illegal activities while artificially inseminating their herds.

      Anonymous 5:45 PM, there is a difference between Zoophilia and Beastiality. A zoophile has a sexual fixation on non human animals, however it does not require the sexual activity that defines beastiality. Zoophiles also are said to develop a stronger bond with the animal than the person who practises beastiality, which may or may not lessen the abuse factor. I also believe that zoophilia is not illegal, although it is socially unacceptable and frowned upon. ~ GS

  2. Anonymous2:02 PM

    I strongly agree that our laws concerning the treatment of animals have to be modernised. New farming techniques that replaced tillage, and advances in new industrialization, drove down the ability of many family farms to compete in the market, especially in modern times when contracts are drawn up by company lawyers that benefit the company. Governmental Laws and regulations also hurt the family farm; the ironic effect where farmers that use natural farming methods cannot use the organic label without paying a fee to use it, while industrialisation has become the normal for consumer consumption.

    It is cheaper to have large complexes of caged animals than it is to have animals roaming free. They are monitored as to diet, weight gain and health, and they are free of the dangers of predators. The drawback is a change in flavor of meat when you talk industrialised vs free range- I run into people that dislike the taste of free range animals, or they dislike the consistency of the meat, etc.

    Same thing is happening to fruit and vegetable growers, it is nearly impossible for the average farmer to successfully compete with market prices, and while many people criticize the use of herbicides, and pesticides on crops, for most people it simply comes down to which product is cheaper.

    There is no economic incentive to change the laws as they are, in fact it may cut into industry's profit margins, or it may cause the price of foods to rise. It may also negatively impact how pets are looked after and raised. It is necessary to change the laws, to protect not only our pets, but also the animals that provide our foods. I have little faith the government will take the necessary steps needed to properly provide for animal welfare as far as industrialised farms are concerned. I hope they are able to find practical solutions to the plight of animals both pets and industrialized. ~GS

  3. Anonymous12:30 PM

    Unbelievable! Trudeau and the entire Liberal cabinet voted against this bill from one of their own backbenchers! I note that the much-maligned Con Michelle Rempel voted for it. Sunny ways indeed.