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Montreal Just Elected an Animal-Friendly Mayor

Animal Justice November 6, 2017

Animals won big-time in Montreal’s municipal elections this weekend! Voters elected mayoral candidate Valérie Plante of Projet Montréal, and sent incumbent mayor Denis Coderre packing. Not only does mayor-elect Plante become the first woman to lead Montreal, she is also promising to make animal protection a priority while in office.

Animal protection laws were a hot topic in Montreal in the lead-up to the elections. Outgoing mayor Coderre has a bad track record on animals—his administration was heavily criticized by animal advocates for implementing a misguided ban on pit bull-type dogs. The ban is considered unenforceable by authorities, is harmful to dogs, and is widely considered ineffective in making communities safer.

Projet Montréal has committed to repealing the pit bull ban, and implementing fair and effective solutions to promote safer communities through responsible dog care.

Plante’s party has also promised to do away with horse-drawn carriages on city streets. Horses are forced to pull heavy carts in dangerous weather conditions on congested downtown streets, and a series of horse injuries has left many Montrealers calling for an outright ban on the outdated industry.

As the Montreal SPCA’s executive director Élise Saulnier noted, “Citizens of Montreal expect to see big changes in animal welfare and services in their city during the tenure of Mayor Plante.”

Animal protection laws are increasingly becoming a voting issue, and it’s incredibly encouraging that Montreal voters supported a candidate whose party is committed to improving municipal animal protection. The Montreal elections are a clear signal to all politicians that citizens expect our representatives to make animal issues a priority.

 

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Animal Justice

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Law Professor and Students File Lawsuit to Stop Montreal Rodeo

Animal Justice May 24, 2017

Law professor Alain Roy and a group of law students from the Université de Montreal filed a lawsuit today, asking the Superior Court of Quebec to impose an injunction to stop the Nomadfest Urban Rodeo from taking place this summer.

Montreal has come under fire from animal lawyers, advocates, and veterinary experts for its plans to hold rodeo events this August as part of the city’s 375th anniversary celebrations. Rodeo events are incredibly cruel to animals, causing intense fear, suffering, pain, and risk of injury—all for the sake of cheap entertainment. Animals don’t perform willingly in rodeos; they are coerced into running, bucking, and other behaviours through fear, pain, and brutal training methods. The Montreal rodeo is expected to include bull riding, and bareback and saddle bronco riding.

The lawsuit argues that the event violates provisions of the Quebec Civil Code as well as the Animal Welfare and Safety Act. Amendments to Quebec’s Civil Code introduced in 2015 were groundbreaking, recognizing that animals aren’t just “things” but are “sentient beings”. Quebec law protects animals from pain, suffering, and extreme anxiety, and allows for large fines and even jail time for those convicted of harming animals under the legislation.

The rodeo is set to take place in the Old Port from August 24-27. Montreal has no historical or cultural connection to rodeo, and a petition by the Montreal SPCA agains the rodeo has already gathered over 22,000 signatures. Over 600 veterinarians and vet techs have also signalled their opposition to the Montreal rodeo.

Animal Justice applauds Professor Roy and his students for their work to use the law to shut down animal cruelty. Rodeo events have no place in a compassionate society!

Animal Justice

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