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Call to amend Bill 50, Ontario’s Animal Welfare Act


August 7, 2008
By Animal Alliance of Canada

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August 7, 2008, Toronto, Ont. – In the wake of a precedent setting decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court, animal protection and environmental organizations call on Dalton McGuinty's government to amend Bill 50, The Provincial Animal Welfare Act, 2008 by removing all Sections of the bill that exempt wildlife, research and farm animals from protection under the Act.

An American publication, Market Watch , on July 30, 2008 reported that "In this monumental case, the [New Jersey Supreme] Court ruled that factory farming practices cannot be considered humane simply because they are widely used… Many states have an exemption to their cruelty code for "routine" or "commonly accepted" practices which leaves animals confined in factory farms unprotected from abuse."

"The exemptions in Bill 50 prevent the OSPCA from investigating and laying animal cruelty charges for research animals, native wildlife, agricultural animals kept in accordance with reasonable and generally accepted practices, leaving over 200,000,000 Ontario animals with no protection from cruelty and abuse," said Stephanie Brown, Animal Alliance's representative on the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals. "We urge the McGuinty government and the members of the Standing Committee on Justice Policy to review the New Jersey decision and amend Bill 50 so that farm and other animals are given basic protection."

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"Our submission to the Committee demonstrates that wildlife, farm and research animals have no protection from cruelty, either from Bill 50 or from the legislation that governs their care and use," said Liz White, Director Animal Alliance of Canada. "The New Jersey Supreme Court decision re-enforces our assertion that many "generally accepted practices" are simply not humane and therefore the Bill 50 exemptions leave wildlife, research and farm animals without protection from cruelty an abuse. The Committee on Justice Policy is well positioned to make the necessary changes before it is tabled for third reading."

For more information:

Bill 50 – Provincial Welfare Act (Ontario)
govbackgrounder
Current OSPCA Act