NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2006/09/15 - Brigadiers Law, a movement to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to offer better protection for Law Enforcement Animals, rejects a members bill, S-213 stating it has NO TEETH and will do little to protect animals from cruelty.
Canadians have voiced their support by providing over 50,000 signatures to remove animals from the property section of the Criminal Code and put them into a section where criminal charges for deliberate animal cruelty and abuse can be laid. This includes financial restitution for veterinary care. This is of particular urgency for law enforcement animals that, though called to duty for Canadians, have no meaningful protection under the law. Such a meaningful bill, C-50 (nicknamed Brigadier’s Law after a fallen police horse), was already approved in parliament before the last election was called. The bill was never passed.
It is with astonishment that our present government has decided against re-introducing “Brigadier’s Law” into Parliament, but will instead support a lesser bill, known as S-213. Imagine a perfectly valid, already written, already approved by parliament, bill not being used, and a new lesser bill named S-213 being proposed instead. The question is why?
This latest bill should not be confused as being neither the bill that members of Brigadier’s Law have all been working towards nor the one that once had parliamentary support. Brigadier’s Law, do not support bill S-213.
Bill S-213, introduced in April, would raise the maximum jail term to five years for indictable offences, higher than the current two-year maximum and would raise the maximum fine from the current $2,000 to $10,000. It would also allow judges to impose a lifetime ban on animal ownership for anyone convicted of animal cruelty. Why then do we say that this bill is without merit - because, it is an empty shell of a bill, with little foundation for the laying of meaningful charges. The reasons are numerous with the main one being that crimes against animals are still considered property offences. Technically and effectively what is needed in a working bill is recognition that animals will be treated as living sentient beings. This is in the version of the bill known as “Brigadier’s Law”.
An interim proposal is that, while the federal government does nothing to provide protection for police enforcement and other animals, local municipalities should enact municipal bylaws to protect them. Dan Sandor, candidate for Toronto City Councilor (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre) has vowed to put forth such a motion at City Hall for the creation of a by-law to allow for better protection for animals, including law enforcement service animals.
The Criminal Code of Canada to reflect the progressive views of the Canadian people and provide meaningful protection as provided by law.
Contact Brigadiers Law or Dan Sandor for more information or to find out how you can help.