This is NOT an Acceptable Practice
Per the letter dated December 22, 2010 which I received From MLA David Ramsay, Public Hearings on the above Bill to Amend the current NT Dog Act are now scheduled.
It is critical that this new Dog Act for the Northwest Territories become active Legislation, while it is a vast improvement over the archaic existing Dog Act, remember it still only applies to DOGS and no other domestic animal.
The Northwest Territories has a very long way to go before a real pat on the back can be made. Comprehensive Animal Protection must be put into place as has been done throughout the rest of Canada.
Quoted Excerpt from letter:
“This bill makes amendments to the Dog Act that:
1. clarify that a dog is in distress if it does not have adequate food, water, shelter, necessary veterinary care or if it is subject to obvious abuse or neglect;
2. make exceptions for locally accepted or traditional practices
3. allow bylaw and RCMP officers to enter a premises or vehicle and take custody of dogs in distress; and
4. increase the penalties for offenses under the Act to a maximum of a $5,000 fine and three months in jail for a single offence; and a $10,000 fine and six months in jail for repeat offences.”
“Written submissions are also encouraged and will be accepted until January 14, 2011”
Please note Item #2 could pose a real problem as a loophole in this new Act. The whole purpose of Animal Protection is just that protecting animals..i.e. if it is a locally accepted practice or locally accepted traditional practice to leave ones animal without shelter in sub-zero temperatures, or to feed every other day minimum food scraps…..or to neglect the animal for days…that is unacceptable under the Federal Criminal Code of Canada.
This Section of the Federal Criminal Code is quite Clear:
The Criminal Code is a federal law that is in force everywhere in Canada. Section 446 of the Criminal Code states:
You are guilty of an offence if you:
- willfully cause or allow unnecessary pain, suffering, or injury to an animal;
- by willful neglect cause injury to animals while they are being transported;
- abandon an animal or fail to provide it with enough suitable food, water, shelter, and care;
- participate in any way in the fighting of animals (example: arranging or attending a cockfight or dogfight);
- administer a poison or injury-causing drug to any domestic or captive wild animal or allow this to happen (example: poisoning a neighbor’s cat or spraying a dog with oven cleaner);
- are involved in any way with the release of captive birds for the purpose of shooting them;
Note: Section 429 of the Criminal Code defines “willful” in the following way:
“If you cause something to happen, either by doing it or by not doing something you should do, and you know what the results will be, you are considered to have done so “willfully”. (Example: failing to feed an animal could be considered to a “willful” act, since you know that an animal will starve if it is not fed).”
Passive Cruelty (Acts of Omission) Quoted from Pet-Abuse.com
“Passive cruelty is typified by cases of neglect, where the crime is a lack of action rather than the action itself – however do not let the terminology fool you. Severe animal neglect can cause incredible pain and suffering to an animal.
Examples of neglect are starvation, dehydration, parasite infestations, allowing a collar to grow into an animal’s skin, inadequate shelter in extreme weather conditions, and failure to seek veterinary care when an animal needs medical attention.
In many cases of neglect where an investigator feels that the cruelty occurred as a result of ignorance,
they may attempt to educate the pet owner and then revisit the situation to check for improvements. In
more severe cases however, exigent circumstances may require that the animal is removed from the site
immediately and taken in for urgent medical care.”
Please submit your own comments to: before January 14, 2011
Hon. Robert McLeod,
Minister Municipal and Community Affairs
P.O. Box 1320, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9
MLA, David Ramsay, Chairman
Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure
P.O. Box 1320, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9
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MEETINGS AS SCHEDULED