Welcome, visitor! [ Register | Login


rentwithpetscanada


Post Free Listing

Why the Supreme Court Bestiality Decision Is Actually Good For Animal Law

Animal Justice June 15, 2016

By Camille Labchuk, Executive Director of Animal Justice. 

The Supreme Court of Canada sent shock waves around the world last week when it ruled in the case of R. v. D.L.W. that most forms of bestiality are legal in Canada. According to the judges, sexually abusing animals is only a crime if the abuse involves intercourse.

Many people were deeply disappointed by the outcome. Animal Justice intervened in the disturbing court case last November to speak up for animals and make sure the Court heard why protecting them matters. Like you, we wish the Court had ruled that all sexual touching of animals must be illegal.

But apart from the outcome, nearly everything else about the D.L.W. case is good news. Many parts of the decision are extremely positive for animals and the field of animal law, and we know that Animal Justice made a huge difference by intervening. Let’s break down the decision and take a closer look.

First, it was a split decision. Although six judges interpreted bestiality narrowly, we managed to convince Justice Rosalie Abella that bestiality should include all sexual acts with animals. Justice Abella wrote a strong dissent that adopted most of Animal Justice’s arguments, stating that it was obvious that the law should make all forms of bestiality illegal. Justice Abella wrote that she has a “great deal of difficulty accepting that in its modernizing amendments to the Criminal Code, Parliament forgot to bring the offence out of the Middle Ages…”.

Second, the majority and the dissent both mentioned that protecting vulnerable animals is important. This is the first time ever that the country’s top court has acknowledged society’s long-standing and growing concern with the welfare of animals. It’s an incredible development for the field animal law. Our legal system is built on precedent, and now we have a powerful precedent from the Supreme Court that animal lawyers will be able rely on in future cases.

This recognition that animals matter is thanks to Animal Justice’s intervention. The other parties in the case (the Crown and the accused) wouldn’t even agree that the offence of bestiality is about protecting animals. In their view, the offence was exclusively about protecting human morality, and had nothing to do with protecting vulnerable animals from serious abuse to which they cannot consent. Without Animal Justice in the courtroom to point out that animals matter, the decision may have been very different.

By being in the courtroom, Animal Justice made a difference in the case. Animal Justice was mentioned by name in both the majority opinion and the dissent. Interveners don’t often get this type of recognition, so we know that the judges appreciated our arguments and took seriously what we had to say about animals.

Finally, it’s important to note that the majority decision doesn’t means the Court thinks animals are unimportant. It simply means that the judges felt they had to interpret a criminal offence narrowly, stating “it is for Parliament and not the courts to expand the scope of criminal liability for this ancient offence.”

The Court gave clear direction that Parliament can act, and that’s exactly what we are asking for. We’re urging the government to support Bill C-246, MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith’s private member’s bill that would close the bestiality loophole and update other animal protection laws.

Ultimately, Animal Justice accomplished a lot by intervening in the case. Although the result was not what we had hoped for, we know this case will help animal lawyers make more progress in the future.

For a more detailed analysis, check out my co-counsel Peter Sankoff’s video blog on the case.

Animal Justice

Sponsored Links

  • Vancouver Transit Police Target Animal Activist for Showing Slaughterhouse Footage

    by on March 16, 2018 - 0 Comments

    TransLink Transit Police in Vancouver have ticketed an animal advocate for spreading awareness of animal cruelty by showing farm and slaughterhouse footage to passersby on the street. Jeff Rigear is a former undercover investigator on Canadian farms who now runs TV Outreach for Animals. Mr. Rigear sets up a 42-inch television screen on busy streets... Read more » Animal Justice

  • Former Florida School Resource Officer Defends Response To Parkland Shooting

    by on February 27, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Former Florida School Resource Officer Defends Response To Parkland ShootingThe former school resource officer who resigned after failing to confront a gunman earlier this month at the Florida high school where he was assigned is defending his response to the deadly mass shooting. Scot Peterson said he was following training he had received as a Broward County sheriff’s deputy when he decided to remain outside, despite being armed, during the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, according to a statement released Monday by his attorney. “The allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue,” Joseph A. DiRuzzo III, Peterson’s attorney, wrote in the statement.


    Animal and Pet News

  • In Canada It’s Legal to Kill and Eat Your Pets

    by on February 23, 2018 - 0 Comments

    Shock and outrage is spreading across Canada after news reports revealed that a B.C. couple butchered and ate a potbelly pig whom they adopted from the local SPCA. Molly, the potbelly pig, was rescued by the Cowichan & District branch of the BC SPCA as part of a cruelty investigation, and eventually regained her health... Read more » Animal Justice

  • Bella’s Road Trip to Rescue 9 Pets

    by on February 24, 2018 - 0 Comments

    One of our dedicated volunteers, Bella Dumont, created a presentation about her recent trip to one of the communities we help. Bella has taken on a number of important roles with SCARS. She fosters pets, looks after cat supplies, helps monitor our phone line and picks up donations. She’s also part of our doggie railroad

    The post Bella’s Road Trip to Rescue 9 Pets appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Vancouver Aquarium Drops Copyright Lawsuit Against Filmmaker

    by on March 8, 2018 - 0 Comments

    VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Aquarium has dropped its copyright lawsuit against filmmaker Gary Charbonneau. The Aquarium filed a notice of discontinuance in the case this week, shortly before CEO John Nightingale was set to be cross-examined by counsel for Mr. Charbonneau. The Aquarium first filed the copyright infringement lawsuit against Mr. Charbonneau in 2016 over his documentary Vancouver Aquarium... Read more » Animal Justice

Article Categories

Article Archives

Who's Online

  • 0 Members.
  • 2 Guests.