When the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was introduced earlier this month, the B.C. Liberal government claimed the legislative changes it contains would "enhance animal welfare and transparency".
However, Vancouver Humane Society board member Rebeka Breder soon told the Straight that Bill 24, which received first reading on March 6, "does not help animals in any way or further the protection or welfare of animals in British Columbia".
Now, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is speaking out against the legislation.
Kristin Simon, a senior cruelty caseworker in PETA's cruelty investigations department, has sent out an action alert to animal-rights activists in B.C. The email states:
A potentially harmful bill is being considered by legislators in British Columbia, and your voice is desperately needed!
When officers from the British Columbia SPCA (BC SPCA) seize an abused animal, the owner is allowed to appeal. Bill 24 would transfer the appeal process from the Supreme Court to the BC Farm Industry Review Board (FIRB), but the FIRB can take up to six months to hear any given case! Such delays would leave the BC SPCA shelters full of animals who can't be adopted out because they're stuck in legal limbo, prevent shelters from taking in animals in need because kennels are full, and cause bills for the animals' care to accumulate.
PETA is urging activists to contact their local MLA and "urge him or her to oppose Bill 24".