Recently Action for Northern Animals was privileged to receive an interview request from Animal Voices, a Vancouver based Animal Advocacy radio program.
As so much of the rest of Canada is totally unaware of what is going across the North, and in particular the Northwest Territories, this golden opportunity arrived at just the right time, given that the Public Hearings on the new Dog Act and the “deadly loophole”…….”make exceptions for accepted local or traditional practices” is causing so much debate and argument.
Some, like the Mackenzie Delta MLA David Krutko want this ‘get out of jail free card’ (quoted from clause opponent) to remain within the new territorial act and continues to speak out loudly in favor of this loophole.
While the new Act contains articles such as:
Section 1 (1): Distress: states “For the purpose of this Act, a dog is in distress if it is
a) deprived of adequate shelter, ventilation, spce, food, water, reasonable veterinary care or reasonable protection from injurious head or cold;
b) injured, sick, in pain or suffering: or
c) abused or subjected to undue hardship, privation or neglect.”
Dogs in Distress:
4. (1)” No owner shall permit a dog in his or her charge to be in distress.
(2) No person shall cause a dog to be in distress:
DEADLY LOOPHOLE TOTALLY RENDERS NEW ACT USELESS IF THIS CLAUSE REMAINS.
(3) THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY IF THE DISTRESS RESULTS FROM AN ACTIVITY CARRIED ON IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE REGULATIONS OR IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENERALLY ACCEPTED LOCAL OR TRADITIONAL PRACTICES OF DOG CARE, USE AND MANAGEMENT.”
Note: No where are there any regulations stating specifics for “generally accepted local or traditional practices” or for “reasonable veterinary care”.
Opponents to this clause are not targeting any group, or those that use sled teams to conduct traditional fishing, hunting or trapping. There are countless reputable mushers, countless persons who use their teams traditionally to support their families, and who genuinely respect and care for their dogs. There are dog owners whose animals are members of their families, very much loved and cared for.
However there are those persons who do not care, do not respect the lives of these animals and who show total indifference and complacency, and it is those persons who cast a dark reflection on those reputable and caring persons who do. It is those persons who dispose of unwanted puppies in garbage dumps, allow their animals to starve and freeze to death, those persons who slash throats, shoot helpless tied dogs in the face, those that abandon these animals and that show no respect for these lives. It is those person who NEED to face the consequences of their actions.
A perfect example is the Behchoko case whereby 44 sled dogs had to be put down due to severe neglect, Crown stayed the one charge brought against owner (see “You be the Judge” and” Hail to the Justice System” (Archived) ; the Tuktoyaktuk case : see “Tuktoyaktuk Cruelty Capital of Canada” (Archived); and the 6 tiny puppies found with slashed throats in the Behchoko dump (one survived). Then there is little Yuki in Wha Ti whose mother was forced to deliver her litter outside in sub-zero temperatures. Yuki is the sole survivor!!!
Can one get a “get out of jail free card” for actions such as these, by saying something like, ‘we do that all the time here, it is an accepted practice’? Keeping this deadly loophole in the new Act will effectively allow the decades of animal cruelty to continue with consequence.
Please continue to submit your emails, faxes and letters urging that his loophole be deleted in it’s entirety; and please sign the online petition:
Emails, faxes and letters opposing this clause may be sent to:
Kam Lake MLA David Ramsay: firstname.lastname@example.org FAX: 867-873-042 (Tel: 867-669-2299)
Chairman for the NT Dog Act Hearings.
Standing Committee on Economic Development and Infrastructure
Legislative Assembly, P.O. Box 1320, Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9
Please ensure a copy is emailed to: protectionofnorthernanimals @gmail.com
MacKenzie Delta MLA David Krutko to voice your opposition:
Telephone: 867-669-2285 or email: email@example.com
Please go to the links below for Animal Voices:
You can download show broadcast or go directly to: http://archive.animalvoices.org/AnimalVoices_2011-01-21.mp3
The MP3 recording starts with a short discussion on the movie “Forks Not Knives” and then continues into the situation in the NT and Nunavut.
Animal Voices can also be found on Facebook. It is refreshing programming that speaks out on animal welfare, care and issues.
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