We, the undersigned Citizens of Canada draw to the attention of the House the following:
THAT, WHEREAS animals are sentient beings, capable of feeling pain, and are not property,
WHEREAS stray and wild animals are not sufficiently protected by animal cruelty laws under the property section of the Criminal Code,
WHEREAS it is imperative that those who abuse animals face conviction and significant penalty, and
WHEREAS loopholes in existing legislation too often allow those who abuse animals toe escape penalty,
THEREFORE, YOUR PETITIONERS call upon the House of Commons to recognize animals as beings that can feel pain and move animal cruelty crimes from the property section of the Criminal Code, and to strengthen the language of federal animal cruelty in order to close loopholes that allow abusers to escape penalty.
Cruelty to animals is a serious issue, and our Government was proud to introduce Bill C-84, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (bestiality and animal fighting) in October 2018, which came into force on June 21, 2019. This Bill amended the Criminal Code to ensure that engaging in any sexual activity with an animal or compelling someone else to engage in such activities, especially a child, is a serious criminal offence. It also expanded the animal fighting provisions to afford equal protection to all animals forced to engage in animal fighting, and broadened the scope of prohibited activities associated with animal fighting. The targeted amendments from this Bill received support from all key stakeholders in the matter, including both animal protection groups and agricultural groups. The Government remains committed to reviewing the need for further amendments to the Criminal Code in order to protect animals better.
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