Nova Scotia Makes History by Banning Cat Declawing and Other Mutilations

The province of Nova Scotia passed strong new animal protection legislation this week, becoming the first province in the country to make cat declawing illegal. The new laws also put an end to tail docking, ear cropping, devocalizing dogs, and other cruel and unnecessary cosmetic surgeries on companion animals.

Nova Scotia’s veterinary association amended its code of ethics to prevent vets from declawing cats. The new provincial law passed this week is an even stronger measure, as it makes cat declawing illegal across the province for both animal guardians and veterinarians. Those who declaw cats or otherwise mutilate animals for cosmetic reasons could face up to six months in jail and a $25,000 fine for a first offence.

The new legislation also gives provincial animal welfare inspectors enhanced powers to inspect facilities where animals are being used, and powers to demand that a person produce an animal so inspectors can ensure the animal’s well-…

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Thousands of Animals Burn Alive at Van Boekel Farm, of #PigTrial Fame

Van Boekel Farms has a habit of getting itself in the news.

In 1994, the family pig farming business and its owner—Eric Van Boekel—were convicted for spilling manure into waterways, damaging the water and surrounding environment. Then, in 2011, they were convicted again, for seven offences under the Ontario Water Resources Act, Environmental Protection Act and Nutrient Management Act. Eric Van Boekel was sentenced to 30 days in jail, ordered to pay $345,000 in fines plus a 25% victim surcharge, and put on probation for two years. On appeal, the sentence was reduced.

Then, in 2015, Van Boekel famously reported Save Movement activist Anita Krajnc to police for giving water to panting, heat-stressed pigs aboard his transport truck on a hot summer’s day. Krajnc was charged with mischief and later acquitted, but not before the case put the entire pig industry on trial. Among other revelations, the cross examination of Van Boekel’s driver revealed that pigs go into d…

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Animal Justice Applauds MP Michelle Rempel’s Anti-Bestiality Bill

OTTAWA – National animal law advocacy organization Animal Justice is supporting MP Michelle Rempel’s private member bill aimed at outlawing all forms of sexual abuse of animals. The bill was tabled today in the House of Commons.

Most forms of bestiality have been legal since June 2016, when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in the case of R. v. D.L.W. that the criminal offence of bestiality is limited to sexual penetration between a human and an animal. Animal Justice intervened in the groundbreaking case to argue that all forms of sexual abuse of an animal must remain illegal. The Supreme Court disagreed, stating that penetration has always been an essential element of the offence, and criminalizing acts beyond penetration would expand the offence beyond the intention of the drafters of the law.

The Court stated that it was up to Parliament to expand the scope of the offence. Yet the government has taken no action to protect animals in the 18 months sinc…

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