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Former Ikea Monkey Owner Acquires New Monkeys, Highlights Inadequate Exotic Animal Laws

Animal Justice January 20, 2015

images-5TORONTO – Yasmin Nakhuda, former owner of Darwin the Ikea monkey, has reportedly acquired two new Japanese macaque monkeys. Darwin, a baby Japanese macaque, was rescued by Toronto Animal Services and rehomed to the Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary after he was found loose in an Ikea store parking lot in 2012. Nakhuda lost a lawsuit that sought to have Darwin returned to her.

Although Toronto bylaws prohibit owning primates, Nakhuda now reportedly lives in the Kawartha region, which does not have bylaws against owning monkeys.

“Ontario urgently needs consistent, province-wide laws for the keeping and sale of exotic pets,” said Camille Labchuk, director of legal advocacy for Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund. “Municipalities have been forced to pick up the slack, and the result is an inconsistent patchwork of bylaws that allows private pet collectors to keep primates and other dangerous animals in many areas. Consistent, province-wide rules are the only way to protect public safety and animal welfare.”

Veterinary evidence strongly suggests that primates do not make suitable pets. Yet in many municipalities in Ontario, dangerous animals like primates, large cats, and large snakes and other reptiles can be legally kept without a license, and with virtually no oversight. Private pet collections and roadside zoos are the tragic result.

According to a post on a Facebook page run by Nakhuda supporters, Nakhuda recently purchased the two monkeys from the former Northwood Zoo, which is up for sale. Ironically, Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary is seeking to purchase the former Northwood Zoo property to expand its operations and be able to rescue more monkeys.

Contact:

Camille Labchuk, Director of Legal Advocacy

647-864-0604

Animal Justice

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Animal Justice Considers Legal Challenge to Save Eli the Potbellied Pig

Animal Justice December 12, 2014

Eli in bedCALGARY — Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund is considering launching a legal challenge in the case of Eli the potbellied pig, who lives as a family pet in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Animal Justice is Canada’s only animal law-focused organization.

Strathcona County officials have ticketed Michelle Kropp, Eli’s guardian, for allegedly violating a county by-law prohibiting residents from keeping “livestock.” Although Ms. Kropp is appealing the $100 ticket, county officials have set a court date in February to seek an order removing Eli from his family. The county is refusing to wait for the ticket appeal to be heard before seeking the removal order.

“Potbellied pigs like Eli are kept as loving family pets in homes across this country,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, Director of Legal Advocacy for Animal Justice. “For Strathcona County to claim that Eli is ‘livestock’ is an absurd interpretation of the law, and to push ahead with a removal order to rip Eli from his family is nothing short of mean-spirited and unfair.

“Animal Justice is calling on Strathcona County lawmakers to clarify the bylaw and to drop the lawsuit for a removal order. In the meantime, the Animal Justice legal team is considering all options to launch a legal challenge to the bylaw on grounds that it is unconstitutionally vague and discriminatory.”

Ironically, many dangerous exotic animals like large snakes can be kept legally in Strathcona County.

Other municipalities, including Strathmore, Alberta, have clarified their bylaws to confirm that potbellied pigs are acceptable pets. Provincial and federal agricultural agencies have consistently stated that potbellied pigs are not livestock.

Animal Justice

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AJCLF Launches Charter of Rights and Freedoms for Animals

Animal Justice November 18, 2014

Sign the CharterAnimal Justice Canada Legislative Fund (AJCLF) today launched a new national campaign to have basic rights for animals enshrined into Canadian law through the Animal Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Animal Charter would ensure animals are treated as sentient beings instead of mere property, would guarantee the rights and freedoms that make life worth living, and give all animals a chance to have their interests represented in court.

“This is an idea whose time has come. We know that animals experience pain and joy just like we do, and now it’s time for our laws to catch up to society,” said Nick Wright, Executive Director. “Animals deserve rights and freedoms, and they deserve to have their voices heard in courts throughout the country, much like corporations and trusts already do. Animal Justice is calling on Canadian lawmakers to enact the Animal Charter and help improve the lives of millions of animals.”

Although opinion polls consistently show that Canadians care deeply about animal welfare, the law affords inadequate protection to animals. From our pet dogs, to captive orcas, to pigs kept on factory farms, legal protections for animals are often weak, and animals don’t have the right to see their interests represented in court. The Animal Charter would bridge the large gap between Canadians’ expectations of how animals should be treated and the reality of what they are currently forced to lawfully endure.

The Animal Charter is premised on the recognition that animals experience suffering and pleasure in a way that is not biologically distinguishable from that of humans; that discrimination on the basis of arbitrary characteristics—like species—is a violation of equity, natural justice and the rule of law; and that our legal system must not exclude the most vulnerable members of society.

The Animal Charter can be viewed and signed at AnimalJustice.ca/Charter.

Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund is a federally incorporated not-for-profit dedicated to advocating for the humane treatment of animals.

Animal Justice

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