Rescuing endangered animals made difficult by existing legislation
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photos courtesy of the b.c. spca
Is a maximum of six months in jail a long enough sentence for the men behind a massive cockfighting ring busted in Surrey last week? The B.C. SPCA doesn’t think so.
More than 1,200 birds — some with missing eyes and legs — had to be culled by authorities.
Marcie Moriarty with the B.C. SPCA said the criminal code’s maximum penalty for cruelty — six months in jail, a $2,000 fine and a two-year ban on owning animals —is too lenient.
When a Vancouver man beat his pit bull puppy to death with a hammer in January, he was fined $1,000 and served 22 days in jail.
"(Seeing) the photos was like watching a CSI episode," said Moriarty, adding that if bludgeoning a puppy amounts to 22 days in prison, what warrants the maximum sentence?
Moriarty said that while a new private member’s bill increases the penalties for cruelty, Bill S-203 is ineffective because existing legislation makes rescuing animals difficult.
Provincial Agriculture Minister Pat Bell said he plans to table an amendment to the Cruelty to Animals Act that would give the SPCA more flexibility in dealing with extreme cases of cruelty.
Should Canada’s animal cruelty laws be toughened?