PETA fights B.C. Liberals' "potentially harmful" animal cruelty legislation

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      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".

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      Mar 21, 2012 at 2:09pm

      Hopefully this bill is killed and or is delayed enough to die because of the election call.

      8 6Rating: +2


      Mar 21, 2012 at 2:36pm

      That makes a lot of sense - just what the SPCA needs - more animals!
      What a poorly thought out bill. Pretty typical of Christy and her gang of bandits. Why would she possibly care about animals when she cares so little for people? Strike another blow for animal welfare in BC

      7 7Rating: 0


      Mar 21, 2012 at 11:03pm

      I just want to say that the 9-page Bill 24 is very detailed and legalistic, and the history behind it is complex and political. I am surely not alone in finding it all confusing. I too decry the possibility of further support for cruel agribusiness practises. But I am at least willing to ask about the new tribunal and new procedures that the government claims it would have the FIRB oversee.

      Also, although it is the appeal process that Bill 24 appears most concerned with,could investigation and enforcement procedures be positively reinforced as well? And made more accountable and transparent?

      Sad that there has not been more real public discussion of this controversial Bill 24 - from different perspectives and opinions. Especially as Bill 24 is coming on the heels of the equally controversial (and disappointing) Sled Dog Code of Practise. This is all meant to be some resolution of the Whistler scandal - but it is not.

      PETA is a controversial element here as well. They do amazing and effective work against all kinds of animal abuse, yet their own Virginia animal shelter has a kill rate of over 95%, according to American animal advocate Nathan Winograd. There are many different concepts of what humane treatment is; and reliance on euthanasia is one.(Euthanasia of healthy animals also happens to be the most protested aspect of the Sled Dog Code of Practise.)

      Journalists and animal welfare and advocacy groups should do more justice to the complexity of the issues that Bill 24 is supposed to address. We need more public awareness, discussion - and if possible, more consensus. Animals depend upon us.

      14 6Rating: +8

      Taxpayers R Us

      Mar 22, 2012 at 1:17am

      Funny thing is I had no opinion whatsoever on this until PETA was mentioned.

      I'm starting to think PETA is almost a straw man. An entity designed to be controversial and ridiculous enough to drive people away from supporting its supposed causes.

      8 7Rating: +1


      Mar 22, 2012 at 10:59am

      I think there are many who respect PETA's important work regarding circuses, fur industry, etc - at the same time feeling disturbed about what apparently happens in their own shelter.

      But back to the proposed Bill 24: it seems that the biggest problems with it are:
      (1) to what extent the FIRB could foster a more transparent and accountable process
      (2) that the focus appears to be on making the situation easier for apellants, i.e. those who have had animals seized due to maltreatment. How does that help improve animal protection in BC?
      (3) that the new tribunal and creation of new procedures would require considerable funding. Though our cash-strapped provincial govt. has stated a commitment to this, no figure is given. And there is already another highly contentious funding shortfall, in regard to enforcement of the Sled Dog Code of Practise. The BC SPCA has called the regulations "unenforcebale" without provincial funding to increase the number of investigators.

      It is all very sad for the animals.

      9 7Rating: +2

      fray parks

      Mar 22, 2012 at 11:05am

      the goverment is trying to stop spca taking healthy dogs and sell them then tying up the courts with phoney pivtures and lies the best thing is to have some one else to look and report the condition of the animals other than spca its the only think that will protect animal lover and hopeful stop the theift of vet checket health animals

      8 8Rating: 0

      annette masters

      Mar 22, 2012 at 11:36am

      I would like to know how long it takes for the Supreme Court to hear appeals under the present legislation , as I would not have thought it would be any sooner than the 6 months quoted in this item .

      10 5Rating: +5


      Mar 22, 2012 at 9:02pm

      Well, if anybody knows about cruelty to animals it would be peta with their 97% kill rate of the animals they "rescue".

      9 8Rating: +1

      fray parks

      Apr 7, 2012 at 9:56am

      vote for bill 24 so our animals cant be stollen and sold and spca wont have so much power they take your animal then charge you with cruelty even when there vet checked and in gd health

      8 8Rating: 0

      fray parks

      Apr 7, 2012 at 10:14am

      some one just had there dogs taken by spca the vet checked and put in writting there in gd shape there still keeping them she was suied before and fought them and lost her farm they said there going to sew her again there just after the money for keeping they said its fifteen dollars a day it really ten this women hs gone threw yrs of hell under head drs at this time drs said shes fine

      13 6Rating: +7