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Media Advisory: Animal Justice Lawyers In Court for Appeal in Case that Struck Down Ontario SPCA Law Enforcement Powers

Animal Justice September 30, 2019

TORONTO—National animal law organization Animal Justice will intervene tomorrow in an appeal of the legal challenge that struck down the Ontario SPCA’s enforcement authority. In Bogaerts v. Attorney General of Ontario 2019 ONSC 41, Justice Minnema of the Superior Court of Justice declared that it is unconstitutional for the Ontario SPCA—as a private charity not subject to reasonable oversight measures—to enforce… Read more » Animal Justice

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Here’s How to Help Animals with the New Ontario Animal Protection Survey

Animal Justice May 31, 2019

Everything is about to change for animal protection in Ontario. In March 2019, the Ontario SPCA announced it will no longer enforce animal cruelty laws in the province and is putting this public responsibility back in the hands of the government, where it belongs. The Ontario government is now surveying the public to help decide how… Read more » Animal Justice

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OSPCA Withdraws From Enforcing Animal Cruelty Laws

Animal Justice March 4, 2019

The Ontario SPCA has announced that it will withdraw from enforcing animal protection laws in the province of Ontario as of March 31, when its current funding agreement with the province expires.

While many animal lovers may be concerned by this news, and fear that it will be bad for animals, Animal Justice is applauding the Ontario SPCA for this bold move. We believe it will prompt the government to create a new, stronger, public enforcement system that will be better-equipped to protect animals from cruelty and suffering.

What’s the problem? First, animal law enforcement is woefully underfunded. The Ontario SPCA is not a government agency—it is a private charity. The Ontario SPCA is expected to enforce publicly-enacted animal protection laws in the province, and responds to nearly 16,000 animal welfare complaints each year, province-wide. But the agency receives less than $6 million from the provincial government to carry out its important work, and is forced to fundraise so it can afford to enforce public laws, run shelters, and care for animals. The funding provided to the Ontario SPCA represents a mere 0.001% of the $4.4 billion in public money that is spent on policing in Ontario every year, and the agency is ill-equipped to carry out its mandate. There are more fare inspectors working at the Toronto Transit Commission than there are animal welfare inspectors in the entire province.

Second, many people have questioned whether it is appropriate in 2019 for a private charity to enforce public laws. The Ontario SPCA is not subject to freedom of information laws, police accountability legislation, and other oversight mechanisms that apply to virtually all other law enforcement agencies. In January 2019, an Ontario judge ruled that giving police powers to a private body without transparency and accountability is unconstitutional. Animal Justice intervened in the case in support of the court’s decision, because we believe transparency and accountability are important to making sure animal cruelty offences are investigated and addressed. The case is now being appealed.

Animal Justice believes it is time for a new system, and the Ontario SPCA’s move should prompt the government to implement a well-funded, public law enforcement regime. Caring for animals is a public responsibility, and the government needs to step up and properly fund this vital area of our legal system so that vulnerable animals in our society have strong protections from from cruelty and neglect.

The Ontario SPCA decision will not leave animals unprotected in Ontario. Police officers have always had the authority to enforce federal and provincial animal cruelty laws, and have often done so despite the Ontario SPCA’s overlapping authority. The Ontario SPCA has also offered to continue to provide enforcement services for a three-month transition period, until the end of June 2019.

The private, SPCA enforcement model is a quirk of history, and occurs in virtually no other area of the law. When early animal cruelty laws were enacted in the 1800s in England, most prosecutions were done privately by aggrieved individuals. The Royal SPCA formed to ensure animal laws were enforced, as animals were unable to prosecute cases on their own, and the SPCA enforcement model spread throughout Commonwealth countries.

Other provinces have already moved away from private animal law enforcement. The Edmonton Humane Society announced in January 2019 that it would end enforcement, concluding that it is no longer appropriate for a donation-supported body to fulfill a public enforcement function. Manitoba animal protection laws are primarily enforced by the office of the Chief Veterinary Officer, a public agency. In Newfoundland, the police enforce animal protection laws.

Animal Justice is committed to working with the Ontario SPCA and the province to examine the best options for a strong new enforcement system that puts animals’ interests first. We will keep you updated on future developments, and for ways you can help.

 

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  • Carjacking suspect guns down three police officers in Chicago police station shoot out

    by on July 31, 2020 - 0 Comments

    Carjacking suspect guns down three police officers in Chicago police station shoot outA 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

  • Rico

    by on August 5, 2020 - 0 Comments

    Hello SCARS, We adopted our good boy Rico from you in June 2013.  He was one of four puppies that were found and rescued from a dump. Our Belgian Malinois took to him right away and showed him how to ‘dog’ cause Rico was very shy and sensitive. It took Rico about a year

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

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

  • Michael Bloomberg robbed the DNC

    by on August 22, 2020 - 0 Comments

    Michael Bloomberg robbed the DNCWe now know how much the going rate is for a spot at the Democratic National Convention. Michael Bloomberg spoke for five minutes on Thursday night not long before the nominee itself, a role arguably more prominent than that of Bernie Sanders, the much-abused runner-up.The former New York mayor's remarks were exactly what you would expect. He began by pointing out that he is not a Democrat. He gloated about the vast amounts of money he has given to buy politicians in all parties. He quoted a children's book. He talked about the importance of experts, like the ones he deferred to when he doubled down on the brutal policing tactics that have been the subject of protests across the country. He even said "hell" twice.The best part is that he didn't even have to pay for it. Bloomberg reneged on his promise back in March to keep the thousands of paid staff members who carried him to his towering victory in the 2020 American Samoa Democratic primary onboard until the general election. He has given a whopping $18 million to the party itself and just over $4 million to other grassroots organizations this year. He also offered them some useless free office space during the lockdown.At least President Trump was watching. > After the worst debate performance in the history of politics, Michael Bloomberg, commonly known as Mini Mike, is trying to make a comeback by begging the Democrats for relevance. They treated him like a dog - and always will. Before politics, he said GREAT things about me!> > -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2020More stories from theweek.com The DNC's stirring eulogy for Joe Biden Lori Loughlin sentenced to 2 months in prison for role in college admissions scandal Trump initially responds to Biden's acceptance speech with brevity and correct grammar


    Animal and Pet News

  • Exporting Cruelty: Canada’s Live Animal Export Trade

    by on August 7, 2020 - 0 Comments

    This article is written by Factory Farm Collective and originally posted on their website. Visit factoryfarmcollective.ca for more great content. Earlier this year, the Guardian examined the global live export trade and found that, based on 2017 FAO data, Canada was the 3rd top exporter of farmed animals in the world. While campaigns to ban live exports exist in... Read more » Animal Justice

  • Apply to join the SCARS’ board of directors!

    by on July 31, 2020 - 0 Comments

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society (SCARS) Board of Directors has a vacant Director-at-Large position. If you are committed to the SCARS mandate, have board experience and/or extensive committee experience, can work collaboratively, attend monthly meetings and be responsible for tasks outside board meetings, SCARS would like to hear from you. In your application, please

    The post Apply to join the SCARS’ board of directors! appeared first on Second Chance Animal Rescue Society.

    Second Chance Animal Rescue Society

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