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Complaints Filed With Authorities After Bleeding Turkey Witnessed on Transport Truck

Animal Justice June 7, 2017

DUBLIN, Ontario – Animal cruelty complaints have been filed with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after a witness documented a turkey with a bleeding foot and chest aboard a transport truck.

Ontario law requires animals to be transported in a way that ensures their physical safety. Federal agriculture laws prohibit exposing animals to undue suffering during transport.

The treatment of animals used for food during transportation has been in the public spotlight recently as the federal government has moved to update its 40-year-old transport regulations. Advocates criticize the regulations as permitting animals to suffer in crowded, unventilated, uninsulated trucks without access to food, water or rest. Transportation is so stressful that more than a million animals arrive at slaughterhouses dead each year in Canada, while millions more suffer from injuries and exposure.

“Our laws are supposed to provide basic protection to all animals, but they aren’t being properly enforced,” said Anna Pippus, lawyer and director of farmed animal advocacy for Animal Justice. “If a dog was found in a car bleeding profusely and in obvious pain, the offender would be charged right away. Turkeys can suffer just like dogs can, and they’re entitled to the same legal protections.

“Farmed animals routinely endure egregious suffering in the course of business-as-usual farming practices. While society debates the ethics of farming animals, the least we can do is enforce the laws on the books to protect animals from illegal, preventable suffering.”


A copy of the complaint can be found here.

For more information, contact:

Anna Pippus
Director of Farmed Animal Advocacy

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / Djurattsalliansen

Animal Justice

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Saving Dogfighting Victims From Execution

Animal Justice, Dogs September 21, 2016

Animal Justice is seeking leave to intervene in a court case in Chatham, Ontario to help save the lives of 21 dogs rescued from an alleged dogfighting ring in October, 2015.

Three individuals are facing hundreds of criminal animal cruelty and dogfighting charges in relation to the dogs. Meanwhile, the Ontario SPCA is asking a court to order the execution of the rescued dogs under provincial dog owner responsibility laws. It claims the dogs are pit bulls and the public will not be safe as long as the dogs are alive.

Dogfighting is a heinous crime and has no place in society. It is deeply distressing that the dogs — themselves allegedly victims of a brutal crime — could be made to pay the ultimate price for the immoral and illegal actions of humans. It is also troubling that as the agency with a mandate to protect animals, the Ontario SPCA is instead seeking their death.

At Animal Justice, we believe the victims of dogfighting deserve our help and compassion — not execution. We’re asking the court to let us participate as an intervener in this important case so we can speak on behalf of the dogs, who have no voices of their own.

Dogs rescued from fighting rings have been successfully rehabilitated, most notably the dogs seized from former NFL player Michael Vick’s vicious dogfighting operation in the United States. In the Chatham case, countless dog rescue organizations with expertise in helping former fighting dogs are standing by to assist. Our legal team is asking the court to hear evidence from one of Canada’s top dog behaviour experts to understand how dogs can be rehabilitated, and that execution is not the only option.

Court cases move slowly, and we are still in the early stages of this legal battle. The next court date in the case is November 3, 2016, when the court will hear our arguments as to why Animal Justice should be granted leave to intervene in the case.

We are pleased to be working closely on this case with Bullies In Need, an Ontario dog rescue organization with a wealth of experience in caring for, fostering, and rehoming pit bull-type dogs. We appreciate Bullies In Need’s support for our application to intervene, and we admire their tireless work to save dogs.

Animal Justice’s court fight has already earned celebrity support from hockey legend Don Cherry, a true hero for animals. If you want to join the fight to save these dogs from death, please consider answering Don Cherry’s call to support our court case.


Animal Justice

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Ontario SPCA Must Charge Vet for Abusing Pets

Animal Justice September 15, 2016

OTTAWA – National animal law organization Animal Justice is calling on the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA) to investigate and lay animal cruelty charges against a St. Catharines veterinarian who was secretly filmed abusing pets in his veterinary clinic.

The secret video footage, aired last night on CTV News, was recorded by four former employees of the veterinary clinic. The footage reveals Dr. Mahavir Singh Rekhi illegally abusing animals, including:

  • Hitting a dog over the muzzle with a metal object;
  • Choking a chihuahua so hard that the dog defecated;
  • Swinging an unconscious, anaesthetized cat by the tail against a table;
  • Restraining animals roughly in a way likely to cause them to suffer.

Dr. Rekhi was convicted of professional misconduct by the College of Veterinarians of Ontario in July, but his sentence was a mere 10-month suspension. The suspension may be reduced to only four months if Dr. Rekhi completes two-and-a-half days of remedial training.

“There should be no second chances for vets who abuse pets,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “For a veterinarian to abuse his animal patients in this way is not only blatant animal cruelty, it is also a serious breach of the trust placed in him by the vulnerable animals he treats, and the pet owners who bring their beloved companions to him for care. The Ontario SPCA must lay animal cruelty charges against Dr. Rekhi. Otherwise, he could be in a position to harm more animals as soon as December.”

Animal Justice has filed a complaint over Dr. Rekhi with the Ontario SPCA as well as the Niagara Falls Humane Society.


A copy of Animal Justice’s complaint is available here.

For more information, please contact:

Camille Labchuk
Executive Director

Animal Justice

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