The federal Liberals have been promising to overhaul animal protection provisions in the Criminal Code ever since they overwhelmingly defeated Bill C-246, the cross-partisan Animal Protection Act.
But proposed legislation introduced last week represents only a small step toward what one Vancouver Island MP says needs to be done.
Though Bill C-84 includes important changes cracking down on bestiality and animal fighting for sport, it failed to include basic standards of care and housing, as well as restrictions on tethering for domestic animals, according to Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor.
“In February, Teddy the Dog died in Duncan after being kept in horrendous conditions in one of the BCSPCA’s most profoundly shocking and disturbing animal abuse cases,” noted MacGregor in a press release. “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 was just a drop in the bucket after a long wait. We owe it to our animal friends to strengthen our laws, so that cases like this never happen again.”
According to MacGregor, 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.
“Animal cruelty goes far beyond bestiality and animal fighting, and we need to work together to truly overhaul protections for animals,” added MacGregor. “It’s time for the federal government to step up and make sure no pets go through what Teddy did.”