Quebec needs clear cruelty laws, says head of animal rights task force
Published Saturday, June 27, 2009 1:37PM EDT
The head of a Quebec task force looking into the province's puppy mill problem says Quebec needs strong, clear legislation that will allow the province to shed its reputation as the puppy mill capital of North America.
"I think we've been shamed by some of the images we've seen on television," said Liberal MNA Geoff Kelley. "We've been shamed by so many citizens have written to the government, putting pressure on the government."
Kelley told CTV Montreal he thinks it is the government's responsibility to provide and train more inspectors to enforce the law.
He said the government doubled the amount of money set aside to hire inspectors in the last budget, but those inspectors near a "clear definition of cruelty," to be the most effective.
"Just to give you a small example, the federal criminal code, neglect itself isn't a crime: you have to prove intent to be cruel. And that's much trickier," he said.
The task force has brought together animal rights groups and SPCAs from across the province to share ideas about how to combat cruelty. Kelley says he wants to continue to strengthen networking between animal protection and rights groups.
"The task is enormous," he said. "It's not just for government to do it alone, we need the volunteers and we need the various organizations."
Kelley took a trip to Ontario to examine their new animal protection laws that came into effect of March this year. It's the first major over haul of their legislation in 90 years.
It includes legislation that would allow fines of up to $60,000 and two years in jail for causing harm to animals, including police horses and dogs.
The Quebec task force expects to spend time writing the report over the next few weeks.