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Animal Justice Applauds Election of Animal-Friendly Members of Parliament

Animal Justice October 23, 2019

OTTAWA — Canadian legal advocacy group Animal Justice is welcoming the victories of 25 animal-friendly Members of Parliament in Monday’s federal election. The cohort of MPs all have proven track records of supporting improvements to Canada’s notoriously weak animal protection laws, and were endorsed by Humane Voters Canada, an Animal Justice election-time initiative, before Canadians headed… Read more » Animal Justice

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OSPCA Enforcement Powers Deemed Unconstitutional in New Court Ruling

Animal Justice January 4, 2019

After hearing arguments from Animal Justice lawyers, an Ontario court has ruled that animal law enforcement by the OSPCA—a private charity—is unconstitutional because the agency is not sufficiently accountable or transparent.

Animal Justice intervened in the case of Bogaerts v Attorney General of Ontario, a legal challenge to the OSPCA’s investigative and police powers that was heard in a courthouse in Perth, Ontario in May 2018. Animal Justice was in court to ensure the best interests of animals were front and centre.

Animal Justice has long been concerned that while the public cares deeply about animal protection, the government pushes responsibility for enforcing animal protection laws onto a private charity.

The OSPCA receives minimal funding and must fundraise to support its operations. Animal Justice pointed out that this itself could be a conflict of interest as the organization may receive donations from the very individuals it may be investigating.

The OSPCA is also not subject to reasonable transparency, accountability, or oversight like other public law enforcement agencies, such as the police. For example, police services legislation and freedom of information laws don’t apply to the OSPCA, nor is it subject to oversight by the Ombudsman.

Because of Animal Justice’s arguments on behalf of animals, the court recognized a new principle of fundamental justice: That an agency with police or investigative powers must be transparent and accountable, or it will not comply with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Ontario government now has an incredible opportunity to review animal law enforcement, and ensure in the best possible way that it will benefit and protect animals from cruelty. Animal protection laws are currently the only laws still enforced by a private agency, and we are hopeful the decision will acknowledge government responsibility to lead the way and adequately fund animal protection.

The court has given the province 12 months to introduce a new system. It is not yet clear whether the province will appeal the decision.

Thank you for standing by our side to ensure our lawyers can represent animals in court when they cannot speak for themselves. We’ll keep you updated on how the government moves forward after this legal outcome, and let you know how the province’s future decisions in this matter will affect animals.

 

 

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Victory! Bill to Ban Whale & Dolphin Captivity Passes the Senate

Animal Justice October 24, 2018

After nearly three years of delay and obstruction, a bill to ban keeping whales and dolphins in captivity has finally passed through the Canadian Senate. Senators voted to pass Bill S-203 late on Tuesday, and the legislation will now make its way to the House of Commons for further debate and voting. This groundbreaking legislation is now half-way to becoming law!

The legislation bans keeping whales and dolphins in captivity, breeding them, as well as import and export. There are exceptions for legitimate rescue and rehabilitation efforts.

Only two aquariums still imprison whales and dolphins in Canada—Marineland and the Vancouver Aquarium. The two aquariums fought the legislation at every stage, and pro-aquarium senators repeatedly attempted to kill, block, and delay Bill S-203. Most recently, Conservative Senate Whip Don Plett tried to amend the bill to exempt Marineland and the Vancouver Aquarium, which would have made the legislation meaningless. Senator Don Plett’s delay tactics were finally defeated on Tuesday, and at last the bill was allowed to come to a vote.

Animal Justice has been fighting to help pass this bill from the beginning. Bill S-203 enjoys broad public support from Canadians, and it was saved more than once by the incredible advocacy of people who emailed senators, made phone calls, and shared information about Bill S-203 on social media. In June 2017, the Senate email system was swamped by emails from the public when it looked like pro-aquarium senators were mobilizing to kill the bill.

Bill S-203 has also attracted support from politicians of all political stripes. Earlier this year, Members of Parliament from the Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, and Greens joined Animal Justice and Humane Society International at a press conference to call for an end to Senate obstruction so the bill could move to the House of Commons.

Bill S-203 was first introduced in December 2015 by Senator Wilfred Moore. After Senator Moore’s retirement, it was sponsored by Senator Murray Sinclair. Green Party leader Elizabeth May will sponsor the bill in the House of Commons.

Over a dozen other jurisdictions around the world have already banned keeping some or all cetaceans in tanks, including Mexico, France, South Carolina, and California. Ontario banned keeping orca whales in 2015, and the Vancouver Park Board voted to ban cetacean display and captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium in 2017. The ban is now being challenged in court, but in the meantime, the Vancouver Aquarium publicly promised to end its practice of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.

There is also hope for rescued whales and dolphins once the ban becomes law. The Whale Sanctuary Project plans to build a seaside sanctuary for retired whales and dolphins in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, or Washington, offering hope to creatures who have spent a life confined in miserable concrete tanks.

 

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  • Blackie

    by on November 15, 2019 - 0 Comments

    One dedicated rescuer, two days, two dogs, two different areas of the province - eerily similar symptoms.  Here is Blackie's story. Not 24 hours had gone by since Lizzie's diagnosis and passing and the phone rang again. A dog, this time a large male, previously healthy, only 4 years old, suddenly and inexplicably in

    The post Blackie appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Walker

    by on November 15, 2019 - 0 Comments

    Hi SCARS, We were told Walker was going to be a big boy, but what you didn’t say was that he was going to be a gentle giant. Thank you for giving us the chance to watch this amazing dog grow and meld with our family. He has come a long way from 28”

    The post Walker appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Lizzie’s story

    by on November 13, 2019 - 0 Comments

    One dedicated rescuer, two days, two dogs, two different areas of the province - eerily similar symptoms. We will start with Lizzie's story. Lizzie came from a SCARS intake community,  a sweet and happy shepherd, well known to our volunteers involved in community outreach. She had the basic necessities for life, but was always

    The post Lizzie’s story appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Tiny

    by on November 24, 2019 - 0 Comments

    Bit by big dog. That is what it says on my veterinary file. But let me tell you it was waaaaay more than a bite, more like mauled, tossed around and then bit again. I am an older guy and as my name, Tiny, suggests I am not very big.   It was an ugly

    The post Tiny appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Thelma

    by on December 8, 2019 - 0 Comments

    Hi SCARS, We wanted to share our Thelma update with you for the Christmas season. Thank you SO much for finding her and taking care of her before she joined our family. We can't imagine our life without her. Thelma is an absolute joy to everyone she meets. She is the kindest soul to

    The post Thelma appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

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