Canadian legislators have shot down a comprehensive animal protection bill that was designed to close the “loop holes” that currently allow animal abusers to escape criminal prosecution.
Bill C-246 was defeated last night on second reading as MPs voted it down 198-84.
Ontario Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith (photographed above speaking to Canadian Federation of Humane Societies) was spearheading the private member’s bill, which was supposed to update Canada’s animal protection laws – something that hasn’t really be done since 1954.
- Impose fur labelling and ban the sale and importation of cat and dog fur or skin.
- Outlaw shark finning and outlaw the importation of shark fins, unless they are attached to the rest of the shark.
- Update the Criminal Code to amend bestiality provisions, expand the definition of animal fighting and update animal cruelty rules to include gross negligence. That means criminal law would more effectively capture animal abusers, who are currently avoiding convictions because “willful neglect” needs to be proven.
MPs defended their opposition, declaring their support of anglers, hunters and farmers.
— Robert Sopuck (@RobertSopuck) October 5, 2016
While others, who supported it, expressed their disappointment.
Proud to vote in favour of #C246. Sad to see Libs kill own MP Erskine Smith’s bill updating animal cruelty laws Only two Cons vote in favour
— Randall Garrison (@r_garrison) October 5, 2016
— Don Davies, MP (@DonDavies) October 5, 2016
— Don Davies, MP (@DonDavies) October 6, 2016
Here are the actual results.
— OFAH (@ofah) October 6, 2016
Animal lovers and welfare groups were also disappointed.
— Emily Pickett (@EmmPickett) October 5, 2016
— The Fur-Bearers (@FurBearers) October 5, 2016
After the defeat, Erskine-Smith said he knew such an effort was largely symbolic and hopes his Liberal government will still move on improving animal protection laws.