Animal Cruelty Legislation: Letter to Members of Parliament

April 23, 2007
Dear Member of Parliament
RE: Animal Cruelty Legislation

We are writing you regarding bill S-213 which we understand is going through second reading April 24.

We are among thousands of Canadians who believe that support and passage of S-213 would be a travesty. This is especially so, given the 2004 agreement by virtually every related major interest group in Canada to support the former bill C-50 – now private member bill C-373. The letter signed by these groups to the former Justice Minister is attached.

As you may know, and as attested to by the attached document produced by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, bill S-213 will do nothing to address the most heinous acts of gratuitous cruelty towards animals that are perpetrated in this country annually.  This bill is the poorest excuse for responsible governance one could imagine. It represents the worst form of expedience and is and not worthy of passage.

Bill C-373 in no way adversely impacts native rights, hunters or anglers, the farming industry or food processors. However, for some reason, supporters of bill S-213 continue to perpetuate the false premise that certain of these or other groups will be adversely affected by it, This is simply not true.

We urge you to vote against bill S-213, and lend your support to bill C-373. We urge you to pass legislation which goes to the core of the just and decent society that Canada is. We urge you to stand up for creatures who cannot defend themselves from barbarous acts, and give our authorities the powers they want and need to deal with perpetrators of these acts in a definitive manner.

It is noteworthy that all political parties are increasingly concerned about the environment. We suggest that stewardship in its truest sense begins with the protection of creatures large and small which populate the environment. If you as a Member of Parliament cannot pass legislation to address acts of animal cruelty in a way that has true integrity, how can you possibly hope to effect societal change from a broader and far more complex environmental perspective?

We urge you to set aside partisanship in what is clearly a non-partisan issue. There is simply no reason for supporting a sub-standard bill such as
C-213, after so many years of striving to and finally attaining consensus regarding much better legislation – and there is no excuse for it either.

We would appreciate hearing from you regarding your position in this matter.


Helen Brent and Malcolm Bernstein


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