Today, the Liberal government set out to change the criminal code when it comes to the controversial and sickening crime of bestiality. If that word alone is enough to make your stomach churn, you're definitely not alone.
In a press conference today, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced a new bill that's aimed at broadening the definition of the crime. Right now, the definition prohibits only penetrative acts between a human and an animal. With the new definition, it will be illegal for people to engage in any sexual act with an animal.
Justice Minister is up now announcing major changes to Canada’s bestiality laws. A 2016 Supreme Court ruling found Canada’s laws allow bestiality as long as there is no penetration. https://t.co/wwIBDXe46T— Annie BergeronOliver (@AnnieClaireBO) October 18, 2018
The purpose of the definition change is to further combat animal abuse. Back in 2016, a Canadian man was acquitted of bestiality charges after he facilitated sexual acts between his dog and step-daughter. Since there wasn't any penetration involved, bestiality charges got taken off the table. Now, the government wants to alter the definition of "bestiality" so they can close this sickening loophole.
If you're shocked by the fact that non-penetrative sexual acts with an animal are currently not illegal in this country, get a load of what else isn't.
Training for animal fighting
While it is an offense to engage in animal fighting, it is currently not illegal to train an animal for fighting. It is also not illegal to accept money for animal fighting.
The Liberal government also announced today that they plan to combat this issue by prohibiting animal fighting profits and prohibiting facilities used for animal fighting.
Puppy mills are seriously awful and a lot of well-intended dog-lovers unintentionally support them by purchasing dogs from certain pet stores. In Canada, there are no specific laws against puppy mills. However, the way dogs are treated in them is definitely illegal.
Essentially, puppy mills set out to make as much profit as possible. This means pumping out puppies without spending money adequate enough to ensure the dogs are healthy and being taken care of.
Dogs are confined in crowded and dirty areas, female dogs are bred over and over again until they're no longer useful to the shops. Dogs receive little to no veterinary care and have no human interaction, exercise or stimulation. While this all sounds like grounds for criminal charges, as long as puppy producers keep their dark realities under wraps, there's really no way of prosecuting.
Owners will often declaw their cats to prevent them from scratching people and their furniture. Kitties have to undergo painful surgeries that are totally unnecessary and brutal.
While BC and Nova Scotia have banned the practice, it's still fully legal in every other province. The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has stood strongly against it for years. Places such as the UK, Australia, and parts of Europe have also banned declawing.
Tail and ear docking
Again, these are two things that are totally unnecessary, yet it's done all the time. Docking dog's tails and/or ears are common practices for certain breeds. The procedures are considered cosmetic and fully legal in Canada.
Earlier this year in Nova Scotia, a woman was charged with animal cruelty by the SPCA. She attempted to crop puppies tails by tying an elastic band around them until circulation was cut off enough they eventually fell off. However, because what she did was seen as for cosmetic purposes, she got off on the charges.
The news about the Liberals taking action against dog fighting and bestiality is a giant stride. However, clearly more needs to be done in this country to fully protect our furry friends.
Source: Global News, CBC, Humane Society International