Posts Tagged 'animal cruelty'

AIC is going to lay low over the summer and come back revamped by fall.  Here are two unmitigated downers to mull over in the meantime.

Statistics . . .

On Friday, Manitou RCMP went to the property in the RM of Lorne. Officers discovered as many as 500 dead pigs, along with about 160 that were so sick that they had to be put down. Many of the animals were found living without proper food, water or ventilation.

 RCMP said evidence of “severe neglect” was observed. About 2,000 animals were rescued.

. . . tragedy.

I’m very sad to say that Sunny also had to be put down recently. Sunny was surrendered to the shelter back in August 2009, and he was a super-sweet, cuddly older boy. He was finally adopted in December, only to be returned two months later. He was clearly depressed to be back in the shelter, and his awesome personality quickly disappeared. He stayed in the corner, not moving, not interested in people. And then recently, he started biting people when they tried to pet him. Four months had passed since he’d been returned, it was clear no one was going to adopt him, he was depressed and he was going to hurt someone.

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New counts

Thirty-eight new charges laid against former THS leadership.

Those facing a new set of charges include former THS president Tim Trow, current president Bob Hambley and all but one of the current members of the board of directors. The new counts of animal cruelty pertain largely to cats allegedly found in distress by the OSPCA.

“Charges being laid during a contested election have a brackish odour,” said Frank Addario, a lawyer for the charged board members. “Particularly when they are legally dubious and based on information that is stale.”

The OSPCA said the charges were delayed because the THS impeded access to relevant documents.

Watch Brian Shiller, Hanna Booth, Kate Hammer, and Liz White discuss THS, OSPCA, etc. with Steve Paiken on The Agenda’s Pet Politics episode.

Separate roles

Ontario opposition MPPs suggest OSPCA be divided into two.

“It’s our belief that a charity should not have policing powers — not over itself or any other organization or entity,” Klees said. “The OSPCA should have to decide if it’s a charity with a mandate to prevent cruelty to animals or if it wants to be in the business of inspection and enforcement.”

The Conservative MPP wants the government to amend existing legislation to separate the roles of care giver and enforcer, either by dividing the OPSCA into two separate entities or creating a new agency to handle enforcement.

NDP Justice Critic Peter Kormos said concerns about a possible conflict of interest were raised when the OSPCA was given enhanced enforcement powers last year, permitting its officers, for instance, to enter premises such as zoos and pet stores to ensure care standards are met.

The privately-run agency was tasked with policing itself because it also provides animal care, Kormos said.

Back to 1892

On animal cruelty laws in light of two recent cases.

It could have been different, if in April 2008 MPs had not voted to defer implementation of modernizing Criminal Code provisions on animal cruelty in Canada that date back to 1892.

Bill S-203, a private member’s bill that originated in the Senate, would have increased jail time and fines for animal cruelty offenders, but MPs avoided making changes that would broaden the scope of the law.

Protests

A walk for tougher animal cruelty laws in Windsor . . .

“Hopefully this is the start of many little rallies, not just in Windsor but all across Ontario,” said Tammy Deslauriers, the protest organizer. A Facebook group she started, “Windsor dog abuser sought,” had over 6,500 members as of Saturday afternoon.

Deslauriers said she’s hoping to take her case to Ottawa and strengthen the laws.

“I want life,” she said of a possible penalty for abusers. “These are lives. They have blood in them. They have a brain.”

Windsor-Tecumseh MP Joe Comartin called on the Harper government to introduce a bill toughening animal cruelty laws. His own private member’s bill, he said, will likely never make it through Parliament. The bill would set a ten-year maximum sentence for abusers and re-define animals as sentient beings.

. . . and a funeral in Newmarket.

A moment of silence was held Sunday outside a Newmarket shelter for the animals euthanized by the OSPCA as a result of a ringworm outbreak.

But amidst the tears and despair was plenty of anger and outrage.

More than 100 protesters, many dressed in black, called for the resignation of the board of directors and urged York Regional Police to lay criminal charges against the organization for causing unnecessary suffering, pain and death to the animals under its care.

Violence begets violence

Man on parole for manslaughter charged with animal cruelty in Windsor . . .

Abeywickrema was convicted of manslaughter in 2007 after he stabbed a friend on New Year’s Eve 2005. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and faced a lifetime weapons ban, had to provide a DNA sample and had to seek treatment for substance abuse.

Abeywickrema was on a form of parole called statutory release, said Marian Costaris, parole supervisor for Correctional Services Canada.

. . . while University of Windsor researcher links crime rates to slaughterhouses.  (The print version of this story was accompanied by photos of Robert Pickton.)

“I have a graph that shows that as the number of slaughterhouse workers in a community increases, the crime rate also increases,” she says. Fitzgerald says she was inspired by The Jungle to study crime records in U.S. communities where slaughterhouses are located.

She became fascinated by studies of the environmental effects of slaughterhouses that mentioned crime rates, without explanation, seemed to go up when the factories opened in communities.

Fitzgerald carefully weighed the figures in order to see whether a link really existed. She found that an average-sized slaughterhouse with 175 employees would annually increase the number of arrests by 2.24 and the number of reports by 4.69. The larger the abattoir, the worse the local crime problem.

She controlled for factors such as the influx of new residents when slaughterhouses open, high numbers of young men — even the number of immigrants.

Abuse abounds

On cruelty in Pembina Valley.

It’s not something most people are even aware of, but animal abuse abounds in the Pembina Valley.

“We want people to know that this is happening everywhere and it’s probably happening so much more than we see,” said Ginter. “It’s awful and we need to do something about it.”

The humane society is frequently picking up abandoned cats and dogs and, even worse, abused animals, Ginter said.

“We pick up quite a few from the Osterwick-Hochfeld area,” she observed, noting rural areas have the highest rates of animal abuse cases, though there are certainly plenty of animals found abandoned around the towns, as well.


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