Animal Cruelty part of the Canadian Culture?

Sled Dog Suzie Massacre Whistler
Meet Suzie, she loved her sticks, and would always try to engage you. Image courtesy of Sled Dog trainer, Amie Wills. According to the WCB report on the CBC website, when she was shot in the face, she made a horrible noise, and ran away in pain with her eye hanging out. She settled near some of her packmates, but she was finished off with a scoped rifle.

Most Canadians I have talked to in Kelowna really had no idea how bad our Animal Cruelty legislation is; they didn’t know that laws have not been substantially changed since 1892. But then, when news stories hit regarding someone setting fire to their pet, or dismembering an animal, how can we wonder why they are not successfully prosecuted.

At the end of January, 2011, Canadians and world citizens were shocked and dismayed to hear of the mass executions (known to some as the Canadian Sled Dog Massacre of the Whistler 100) of the Whistler dogs in 21-23 April 2010, two short months after the Olympics. While a Task Force has been appointed by the BC government to investigate, and the results and effectiveness of that remains to be seen, Canadians are no longer waiting for the government to do the right thing.

Some Canadians are no longer accepting that animal cruelty is part of our culture, part of our identity.

But we are not the only ones.

The international community is appalled at the lack of animal cruelty legislation in Canada. Countries like the United States, England, Norway, South Africa, Italy, and the list is growing every day, are signing online petitions directed to the Canadian Government that current laws are unacceptable. According to the IFAW organization, Executive Summary in “Falling Behind – An International Comparison of Canada’s Animal Cruelty Legislation”, “Almost every day in Canada newspapers cover stories of horrific acts of cruelty to animals. From house cats captured and killed in microwaves to dogs dragged behind cars until they die from their injuries — cases of cruelty abound.” Recently, a three month old puppy was beaten to death in a hotel room in Victoria, and the killer received almost nothing as a consequence to his action.

Unless, you, my fellow Canadian, support these kinds of actions? Do you accept that cruelty to animals is part of our Canadian culture?

A grassroots movement of Canadians say things need to change. There have already been 25 walks across the country and around the world, trying to bring awareness to Canada’s horrible animal cruelty legislation. There are more to come.

As of this writing, 46 vigils are taking place on April 23rd, the second and final day of the two day Canadian Sled Dog Massacre, and petitions will be available for people to sign. We want to symbolically show the sled dogs that we really do care that this happened to them by signing the petition in support of Bill C-229.

Have you already signed?

Letters have been written by residents of Canada to their MPs. Some have written every MP in Canada! The responses have been varied but predictable. Liberal MPs have responded with unequivocal support, while the Conservative MPs appear to be quite haughty and do not believe they need to listen to the Canadian voice.

From letters I received from Conservative  MPs,  it appears to me that they feel that their work with Animal Cruelty legislation is done with the passing of S-203. Maybe they think that with their stance in the polls, should there be an election called, they have it completely wrapped up, and they don’t need to lift a finger.

How do you feel about that?

To see all the vigils that are planned for April 23rd, please visit http://www.april23rdvigil.com. This is a facebook page.

Past events can be seen at the Advocates Against Outdated Animal Welfare, also a facebook page. This link though will take you right to the photo albums.

2 Replies to “Animal Cruelty part of the Canadian Culture?”

  1. Thank you for this excellent review of our state of affairs in Canada regarding our nation’s appalling record of animal cruelty incidents and events. I have to agree with your conclusions, and I am fast losing patience with the ever mounting cases of abuse to animals from Atlantic to Pacific to Arctic shores. The growing number of gruesome acts of violence towards our animals suggests that this is becoming a cultural acceptable trend in Canada. We also need to recognize we have an exceedingly unhealthy relationship with our wildlife, as seen in the brutality of the seal hunt and coyote hunting competitions. The majority of the world looks on, aghast and horrified, at our lack of conscience with our regards to the sentient beings in our proximity…Bill C-229 is a beginning…It offers us a first step towards regaining the respect of the animal loving, world community. Once passed into law, our consciences may have a chance to grow a better cultural image.

  2. Great article Julia 🙂 I tried to post a comment there, but couldn’t, so I’ll put it here: It’s also interesting to note that the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) put out a recent report that surveyed all Canadians.. from farmers to hunters to urbanites.. and a whopping 95% of Canadians are against animal cruelty and suffering: http://www.wspa.ca/latestnews/2011/will_canadians_vote_with_their_hearts.aspx
    So our laws around animal cruelty are grossly out of step with current Canadian sentiment. We need to make sure our politicians and policy makers update animal cruelty legislation to reflect the Canadian constituency.

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