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New by-law bans zoos & animal circuses in Sault Ste. Marie

Animal Justice July 16, 2018

Sault Ste. Marie just passed a progressive new animal care and control by-law that will mean greater protections for animals. Among other things, the by-law enhances animal care standards, bans circuses from using live animals in performances, and prohibits new zoos from operating in the City.

No More Animals in Entertainment

Sault Ste. Marie is the first Canadian city to take the huge step forward and ban keeping animals captive in zoos. Unfortunately, the only zoo in the City—the notorious Spruce Haven Zoo—has been exempted from the ban by a vote of 6-5, but the by-law will still prevent new zoos from popping up in the future.

Last year, Prince Edward Island became the first province to restrict the use of exotic animals in circuses. Now, Sault Ste. Marie is following suit, banning circuses and events in which any animal is required to perform for the entertainment of an audience. Unfortunately, equestrian shows, dog and cat shows, horseracing, sled dog racing, and aquarium displays are exempt, but the City still deserves some credit for the changes.

Some other highlights of the comprehensive new animal care and control by-law include:

  • New animal welfare rules, including a ban on collars that may restrict an animal’s ability to breathe or swallow.
  • Mandatory sterilization of cats over 6 months of age.
  • A requirement that animals be kept on premises that are free from unsanitary conditions that may disturb the enjoyment or comfort of the animal, or that may endanger the health of the animal.

Animal Justice celebrates this leap forward for animals in Sault Ste. Marie, and urges other municipalities to follow suit.

 

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Animal Justice

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Animal Justice Gala Celebrates 10 Years of Saving Animals

Animal Justice June 14, 2018

On June 8, 2018 Animal Justice celebrated its 10-year anniversary with a glamorous gala at The Burroughes in downtown Toronto. This inspirational evening included a blue carpet entrance and photo backdrop, an memorable program, fabulous vegan food, and a rooftop after-party with views of the CN Tower. Guests included many of Canada’s most notable animal advocates, animal-friendly business owners, prominent chefs Doug McNish and Amy Symington, and Members of Parliament Nathaniel Erskine-Smith and Will Amos.


The gala kicked off with a stylish cocktail reception, featuring delicious hors d’oeuvres, mouth-watering vegan cheese from local companies Vegan Stokes Cheese and Nuts for Cheese, and wine from vegan-certified winery Karlo Estates.


After mingling at the reception, guests were ushered into the main hall for a delicious three-course dinner and unforgettable program, hosted by emcee and Animal Justice board member Kimberly Carroll. Guests were treated to the premiere of an inspirational, no-dry-eyes film showcasing the incredible work of Animal Justice and its lawyers over the last decade. Founder Nick Wright then addressed attendees, explaining what it was like in the early days of Animal Justice and describing the organization’s amazing growth.


After a decadent dessert prepared by Chef Amy Symington, Animal Justice honoured some remarkable individuals and business with awards for their work on behalf of animals.

2018 Pro Bono Award – Ecojustice

Ecojustice is Canada’s leading environmental law charity, and represented Animal Justice in a lawsuit against the Ontario government to protect threatened and endangered species. Thanks to the work of the brilliant legal team at Ecojustice, the lawsuit got action on creating recovery strategies for 37 at-risk species. Ecojustice lawyers Amir Attaran and Sarah McDonald accepted the award.
 

2018 Legislator Award – MP Michelle Rempel

Conservative Michelle Rempel was honoured for introducing a bill to protect animals from sickening sexual abuse. Animal Justice is proud to have worked with MP Rempel on this legislation, and applauds her commitment to improving Canada’s animal protection laws. MP Rempel’s legislative affairs manager Bari Miller kindly accepted the award on her behalf.

 

2018 Legislative Advocacy Award – Navigator & Ensight

Andrew Balfour of Navigator and Caitlin King of Ensight were honoured for assisting Animal Justice in the fight to pass a national ban on whale and dolphin captivity. Their continued efforts to support this groundbreaking legislation have been crucial in helping Senate Bill S-203 swim through the legislative process.
 

2018 Compassionate Brand Award – Wully Outerwear

Wully Outerwear creates cruelty-free luxury outerwear designed for the harsh Canadian climate, all without the use of fur or down. Wully’s brand of compassionate fashion is taking the world by storm—fur trim, beware! Wully founder James Yurichuk accepted the award.

 

2018 Media Award – Jessica Scott-Reid

Jessica Scott-Reid’s prolific journalism has shone a spotlight on animals, and she publishes regular opinion columns in major national newspapers and magazines. From Drake’s move to a meat-free diet, to undercover investigations, to the crooked ploys of the farming industry, Jessica’s written words are raising the national profile of animal issues.

Finally, Animal Justice’s executive director Camille Labchuk took the stage. In a passionate and inspiring speech, Camille invoked Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” and reminded guests that the animal advocacy movement is now taking on animal abusers and winning justice for animals. She remarked, “Our first ten years were about getting through the door to the courtrooms, and getting legislatures to take us seriously. But now we’re in! And together, we’re going to blow the roof off of this house.”

The program finished off with a high-energy fundraising round led by Camille and Nick Wright. Thanks to the generosity of guests, the gala raised over $47,000 to help animals!

The evening continued with a roof-top after party, where guests were treated to a sky full of stars, and views of the vivid Toronto skyline.

Animal Justice thanks each and every guest, our fabulous host committee, staff, and volunteers, and our generous sponsors, including Vegan Stokes Cheese, Nuts for Cheese, Gartner & Associates Animal Law, Hearty Catering, the Stanford Inn, Toltec House, Karlo Estates, Bantr Media, BIO RAW, Flower City Soap Company, Bhanda Bar, Anderson’s Interior Design, and Gardener Dental Group.


Couldn’t make it to the gala but still want to help Animal Justice represent animals in court? Click here to make a gift today!

Animal Justice

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Animal Justice Lawyers In Court for Legal Challenge Ontario Animal Protection Laws

Animal Justice May 16, 2018

Media Advisory

PERTH—National animal law non-profit Animal Justice will intervene today in a legal challenge that seeks to strike down key aspects of Ontario’s animal welfare laws and the way they are enforced.

The case, Bogaerts v. Attorney General of Ontario, is a constitutional challenge to Ontario’s provincial animal welfare legislation and enforcement. Specifically, the applicant is asking the court to rule that:

  • granting police powers to the Ontario SPCA, a private charity, violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because the Ontario SPCA is not subject to transparency, oversight, and accountability measures that apply to other law enforcement bodies;
  • search and seizure powers used to protect animals and investigate animal welfare offences are too broad and violate the Charter; and
  • provincial animal protection offences are truly criminal in nature and fall outside provincial jurisdiction, thus unconstitutionally intruding on the federal criminal law power.

“Animal protection laws are unacceptably weak as is, and often under-enforced and under-prosecuted,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “This constitutional challenge raises important policy questions about whether the current private enforcement model is still appropriate in the 21st century. It could have national consequences, potentially affecting the validity of animal protection laws and enforcement in other provinces. Animal Justice will be in court to make sure that what’s best for animals is front and centre in this case.”

Animal Justice will argue that animals must be protected to the maximum extent possible under the law. To that end, Animal Justice shares many of the applicant’s concerns over the transparency, oversight, and accountability of animal law enforcement. However, Animal Justice believes that broad search and seizure powers are particularly important in the unique context of protecting animals, who are often kept behind closed doors and cannot report illegal abuse themselves.

The case will be heard today, Wednesday, May 16, at 10 am in the Superior Court of Justice in Perth, Ontario. Animal Justice is represented by lawyers Arden Beddoes of Arvay Finlay LLP, and Benjamin Oliphant of Gall Legge Grant Zwack LLP.

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More information about Bogaerts v Attorney General of Ontario, including Animal Justice’s factum, is available on a website maintained by the applicant, found here.

For more information, contact:

Camille Labchuk
Executive Director
camille@animaljustice.ca

Animal Justice

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    by on May 4, 2018 - 0 Comments

    I've had a crazy week. I was picked up by some SCARS volunteers during a Spay Neuter Return pick up. You see, I was a stray that some nice people were feeding and trying to care for but I was not eating and refused to come inside so they asked for help. The SCARS volunteers Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

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  • Animal Justice Will Intervene in Lawsuit Challenging Ontario Animal Protection Laws

    by on April 23, 2018 - 0 Comments

    PERTH—National animal law non-profit Animal Justice has been granted intervener status in a lawsuit that attempts to strike down key aspects of provincial animal welfare laws and their enforcement. The case, Bogaerts v. Attorney General of Ontario, is a constitutional challenge to Ontario’s provincial animal welfare legislation and its enforcement. Specifically, the applicant is asking the court... Read more » Animal Justice

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