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New PEI Laws Force Circus to Cancel Horse Performances

Animal Justice June 19, 2018

CHARLOTTETOWN—National animal law organization Animal Justice says that PEI’s tough new anti-circus laws have stopped a circus coming to Charlottetown this week from including animal acts.

Super Circus Spectacular is scheduled to do two shows at the Eastlink Centre on Thursday, June 21. According to a Facebook event listing for the Charlottetown tour stop, “energetic animals” were set to perform. When Charlottetown resident Hilary Wood messaged the circus to ask what animals they would bring, the circus responded that they would bring horses.

PEI cracked down on circus cruelty last year when the province passed the new Animal Welfare Act. Now, no exotic animals like elephants, bears, and tigers can be used. Only a small number of domestic animals like cats, dogs, horses, and some birds are still permitted, subject to strict conditions. Circuses must obtain a license 180 days in advance of a show, obtain extensive insurance coverage, and create and provide a detailed escape and recapture plan.

After complaints from Ms. Wood and Animal Justice, the provincial Department of Agriculture advised that Super Circus Spectacular does not have a circus license, and will not be allowed to engage in horse or other animal performances in Charlottetown this week.

“Forcing animals to perform for human entertainment is cruel, degrading, and incredibly outdated,” said Camille Labchuk, lawyer and executive director of Animal Justice. “Circuses around the world are closing down due to plummeting public interest, concerns over animal mistreatment, and the risk to public safety. PEI now has some of the toughest anti-circus legislation in the country, and this is our first chance to see it in action.”

Animal Justice will send inspectors to Super Circus Spectacular to ensure it does not attempt to include horses or other animals in its Charlottetown shows this week.

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For more information, contact:

Camille Labchuk
Executive Director
camille@animaljustice.ca

Animal Justice

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PEI Quietly Banned Circuses with Exotic Animals

Animal Justice July 14, 2017

Canada’s smallest province just took a huge legal leap forward for animals by banning the use of exotic animals in circuses! This groundbreaking rule is part of a larger package of new regulations for animal protection in the province. Although there’s still a lot of room for improvement, PEI deserves credit for making some major updates as compared to other provinces. Here are some of the highlights.

Restrictions on using animals for entertainment

Circuses can no longer use exotic animals in performances, making PEI the first province to restrict circuses in this way. Dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, mules, pigeons, doves, and chickens are unfortunately still permitted, but the new regulations do recognize that performances are often demeaning to the dignity of these animals.

Trainers are prohibited from dressing animals up in a way that belittles them, and trainers, handlers, and audience members must treat animals with respect as well.

Training methods for animals in entertainment typically involve inducing fear and pain to force an animal to perform, but PEI laws now make this illegal. Training that involves pain and punishment is outlawed, with only positive reward-based methods permitted. High-risk training and performances aren’t allowed, including the use of fire.

Although no animal should be forced to perform for human entertainment, limiting the species of animals and imposing standards and restrictions is an improvement.

Other highlights 

  • Cruel cosmetic mutilations are now banned, including docking the tails of horses, cows, and dogs; cropping dogs’ ears; and declawing cats.
  • Pet stores must be licensed. (Shockingly, most other provinces do not license or regulate pet stores. Ideally, companion animal sales would be banned to shut down puppy mills and encourage adoption from shelters & rescues.)
  • Farmers must comply with codes of practice for the treatment of farmed animals, setting some minimal standards. (Notably, the federal government does not regulate animal welfare on farms.)
  • The new laws explicitly recognize that animals suffer psychological distress in addition to physical pain.

Of course, strengthening animal protection laws is only one part of the puzzle. Ensuring that laws are vigorously enforced continues to be a challenge, which is why Animal Justice encourages citizens to report animal cruelty whenever they see it.

 

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Animal Justice

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Pig Scrambles Violate Animal Cruelty Laws, Says Animal Justice

Animal Justice March 29, 2017

CHARLOTTETOWN – National animal law organization Animal Justice has sent a letter to law enforcement authorities in Prince Edward Island advising that “pig scramble” events likely violate federal and provincial animal cruelty laws and must not be allowed to proceed.

The PEI Plowing Match and Agricultural Fair in Dundas has held pig scrambles in past years, but has been under intense scrutiny this year after a petition calling for its cancellation began attracting support and national media attention. The petition has over 3,100 signatures to date. Pig scrambles have already been cancelled at other Maritime fairs due to concerns over animal cruelty, including the Westmoreland Fair in Petitcodiac, NB, and the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in Truro, NS.

“Federal and provincial laws are clear: It’s illegal to cause distress and suffering to animals,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “Pig scrambles are cruel and unnecessary events that cause baby animals to experience intense fear and psychological trauma at being chased around a ring for human amusement. These outdated entertainment events are not exempt from animal cruelty laws.”

Animal Justice is asking authorities to prosecute violations of animal cruelty laws at the Dundas Plowing Match pig scramble if it does go ahead. According to news reports, the event directors are considering the future of the pig scramble.

Animal Justice’s letter was sent to Agriculture and Fisheries Minister J. Alan McIsaac, Department of Agriculture inspectors, the provincial veterinarian, the PEI Humane Society, and the Montague detachment of the RCMP.

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For more information, contact:

Camille Labchuk
Executive Director
camille@animaljustice.ca

Animal Justice

230 total views, 0 today

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  • Evie

    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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    by on May 4, 2018 - 0 Comments

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    by on May 8, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Hi SCARS! We wanted to give you an update on Max (formerly Bullet). We celebrated his 1st birthday today and his 3 month anniversary of being with us. He is the perfect addition! He loves to cuddling and going for walks. He could entertain himself with his Kong for hours and has a blast running Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

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    by on April 30, 2018 - 0 Comments

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