Thanks to the support of Animal Justice, prosecutors in Leduc, Alberta have withdrawn charges against two animal advocates. Karin Nelson and Tove Reece were charged with the offence of “stunting” after hanging a banner on a highway overpass near the Edmonton International Airport. The banner stated, “EIA ships horses to Japan for slaughter”, and was meant… Read more » Animal Justice
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EDMONTON – National animal law non-profit Animal Justice is deeply troubled by animal cruelty charges laid earlier this month against the City of Edmonton after the deaths of three cats.
According to news reports, the City of Edmonton, the director of the city’s Animal Care and Control Centre, and three other staff are all facing charges under the provincial Animal Welfare Act of allowing an animal to be in distress. The charges carry a maximum fine of $20,000 and a lifetime ban on having custody of an animal.
The charges allegedly stem from an incident that took place on May 18, 2018. According to news reports, three cats were transported in a rubbermaid container and subsequently died. Several months later, in July, the Alberta SPCA received a complaint over the incident. The Alberta SPCA apparently laid charges on October 5, and the accused will appear in court on December 12.
“It’s incredibly disturbing that a government agency entrusted with helping vulnerable animals is now facing very serious charges for harming three cats,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “We are troubled that while the City held a press conference on Thursday afternoon, it refused to elaborate on the circumstances that led to the cats’ dying.”
“It is relatively rare for such a large group of individuals to face charges, including the City and management,” said professor Peter Sankoff, law professor at the University of Alberta and a director with Animal Justice. “There are many unanswered questions, and the public urgently deserves more information about the details of this incident. Was this a systemic issue? What happened between May, when the incident occurred, and July, when the Alberta SPCA received an independent complaint? What type of internal investigation was conducted and who was notified? Why did the public not learn of this incident sooner?”
For more information, contact:
Board of Directors, Animal Justice
Professor of Law, University of Alberta
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Animal Justice Seeks External Investigation After Cats Left in Vehicle for 22 Days by Edmonton Humane Society
EDMONTON – National animal law organization Animal Justice is seeking an independent external investigation into an incident that occurred at the Edmonton Humane Society. According to a statement issued by the Humane Society, it left three cats in a transport vehicle for 22 days between March 27 and April 18. When they were discovered, the cats were dehydrated, starving, and suffering from urine burns on their paws. They survived.
The incident appears to contravene the provincial Animal Protection Act, which prohibits causing distress to animals, and requires that animals be provided with adequate food, water, and shelter. The Animal Protection Act is a regulatory statute, meaning liability for a violation is assumed without proof that the person intended the consequences.
“No one doubts the Edmonton Humane Society’s commitment to animal protection, and their regret over this incident,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “However, serious questions remain. The Edmonton Humane Society is responsible for investigating animal neglect. It is an obvious conflict of interest for the Humane Society to investigate itself over an apparent violation of the laws it enforces. An external agency, such as the police, must be called in immediately to investigate and determine whether charges should be laid.”
“When police forces are alleged to have committed illegal acts, it is standard practice for external agencies to investigate to ensure investigative independence and police accountability. This serious incident requires much more than the private internal review that was conducted.
“More broadly, this incident highlights the troubling lack of public accountability when it comes to the enforcement of animal protection laws. Humane societies and SPCAs are private charities, yet are tasked with enforcing public laws with little oversight. In no other area of law enforcement does this model still exist.”
For more information, contact:
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A carjacking suspect who had already been arrested shot three Chicago police officers as they attempted to escort him into custody on Thursday morning, authorities said.The gunman was being taken out of a patrol van and walked into Northwest Side police station at around 9.30am when he opened fire, hitting the officers.
Animal and Pet News
Senior U.S. Senate Democrats on Monday accused President Donald Trump's administration of violating the law when it declared his intention last month to withdraw the United States from the Open Skies Treaty. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mike Esper, the Democrats said the administration had not given the legally required 120 days' advance notice to Congress before beginning the withdrawal process.
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