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Thread: Definition of 'animal' may hold up cruelty law

  1. #1
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA

    Definition of 'animal' may hold up cruelty law

    Definition of 'animal' may hold up cruelty law

    From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

    POSTED AT 2:19 AM EST Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2003


    Ottawa - The federal government's move to update Canada's century-old animal-cruelty law has hit another snag with proposed Senate changes, including one suggestion to exclude the words "has the capacity to feel pain" from the bill's definition of animal.

    Documents obtained by The Globe and Mail show that the Senate is also looking at a proposal to exempt some groups from the new law.

    Animal-rights activists are so enraged by the proposals that they are threatening to withdraw their support from Bill C-10B. The bill was tabled in 1999 to strengthen animal-cruelty legislation, which has not significantly changed since 1892.

    As passed by the Commons, the bill defines an animal as "a vertebrate, other than a human being, and any other animal that has the capacity to feel pain."

    A Senate committee has proposed amending that definition of animal to read "a vertebrate, other than a human being."

    The term vertebrate refers to species with a backbone, such as fish, birds, mammals and amphibians. Using that word would exclude creatures such as octopus, squid, lobster and crab.

    The documents outlining the proposed changes suggest the bill's definition of an animal is "overly broad" and say there is continuing scientific debate about "whether a being has the capacity to feel pain."

    The documents outlining possible amendments were prepared after a March 27 meeting in camera of the Senate's standing committee on legal and constitutional affairs.

    "The definition in Bill C-10B feeds into concerns that the bill adheres to animal-rights philosophy and that an ideological shift is taking place in favour of the emancipation of animals," the documents state.

    Animal-rights advocates accuse the Senate committee of capitulating to the animal-industry lobby.

    "We will withdraw our support of the bill if they go ahead with the amendments," said Shelagh MacDonald, program director of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies. "We are absolutely drawing a line in the sand. The original intent of the bill is to improve animal-cruelty laws. This would go backward."

    The Senate is also considering exemptions for hunters, trappers, scientific researchers acting under "generally accepted standards," those who practise animal husbandry or slaughter, and natives practising "traditional hunting, trapping or fishing."

    Ms. MacDonald said this would create a two-tiered animal-abuse law.

    The Liberal government wants to amend the Criminal Code's section on cruelty to animals to impose tougher penalties.

    Under the bill, those convicted of causing "unnecessary pain and suffering or injury to an animal" could face maximum jail sentences of up to five years and a $10,000 fine. The maximum penalty for animal cruelty now is a $2,000 fine and six months in jail.

    Advocates for various animal industries have appeared before the Senate legal affairs committee to explain that their members treat animals humanely but want to be exempt from the cruelty bill. They want assurances that people who use humane methods will not be subject to attempts by animal-rights groups to prosecute them privately.

    The Poultry Welfare Coalition wanted an amendment to protect chicken farmers, and the Canadian Council for Animal Care and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada requested exemptions for research labs that adhere to industry guidelines.

    The committee even called on pain experts, who testified that a lobster being boiled does not feel pain.

    Bill C-10B is close to becoming law, but amendments could delay the already stalled legislation once again. It's currently in Senate committee after third reading in the House and second reading in the upper chamber.

    If the Senate decides to send the bill back to the Commons with amendments, MPs could vote on the amended legislation and pass the law or send it back to the Senate for changes.

    Animal-rights advocates say the proposed changes, if adopted, would weaken the bill considerably and make it more difficult to prosecute cases of animal cruelty.

    "Senators have lost sight of the very serious problem of animal cruelty in Canada," said David Loan, campaign manager for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. "I'm hoping the Senate will take a step back and remember what this law is for. They're setting it back prior to 1892."

    The bill's supporters include the Association of Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the governments of Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

    © 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved

  2. #2
    Banned Acid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002


    With us animals I find this whole debate rather silly.
    I assume who is falling to still be counted under animal
    or under plant might have biologic category definitions somewhere already existing.

    I heard in gene sequence chimpanzees are closer related to us than to gorillas.

    One might stick this "animal" definition debate also under
    the attempt of some homo chimps,
    to classify chimpanzees together with snakes apart from their own kind.

    Or more generalized,
    not referring to this debate there in particular,
    that us homo chimp ape mammals are one category,
    and chimpanzees are another together with tape worms, ticks and jelly fish.

    Instead of wasting time with such foolish stuff,
    I hope that finally instead of just neuro going, as it is in the brains of te following ... so, we deduct that it is so in ours,
    all of these are given person (protection) rights immediately.

    And generally all persons of us mammal kinds, of the birds, the octopei, the calamari, salamanders and various others, and with fish closer examinations in a kind way maybe being made, if the being is registering more like just automatic programs rattling off, or more towards persons.
    (Though one said alike, all of us with eyes are persons.
    And so far I can't really contradict the point.)

    Insects might have to be excluded due to size.

    Apart from silly homo chimp quibbles, that amount to just how far to enslave, abuse and murder persons of related kinds,

    I hope somewhen finally work will start on old age provisions and education contra getting too many children,
    that the homo chimp overpopulation reduces itself far more down again,
    and that far more land free of our kind messing around there is there again for persons of the so many other kinds to live undisturbed their ways in.
    A fair share with persons not of our kind on that level,
    instead of homo chimps multiplying like nuts and in wake effects of their deeds having destroyed more kinds after over a billion years of evolution, than I assume anyone has ever counted.

    To me this debate resembles, if to enslave other persons this far or that far, instead of finally making the humane step away from homo chimp master race and master kind politics against persons of others of us mammal kinds and others, and work towards more fare planetary share with others.

  3. #3
    Banned Acid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    Correction "fare" -> fair: That should have been:

    fair planetary share

    ... And not of Earth as a possession, for our ape kind to steal metals from and leave Earth disharmonies as a Gift (German: poison) for those in the future,
    but a planet of good Earth harmonies, for those of future generations of all kinds to live on after us.

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