Tuesday, May 10, 2016 11:15 am ·  0 Comments
Oakville North-Burlington MP Pam Damoff visited the Oakville & Milton Humane Society on May 6 to show her support for a Private Member’s Bill which would make significant improvements to animal welfare laws in Canada.
Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith introduced Bill C-246, the Modernizing Animal Protections Act to the applause of a coalition of leading Canadian animal protection groups at a press conference in Toronto on March 2.
The Modernizing Animal Protections Act is designed to strengthen existing animal cruelty offences under the Criminal Code by making it easier to prosecute animal fighting and harmful puppy mills, and to stop the sale of cat and dog fur. It would also prohibit the practice of shark finning in Canadian waters and ban the import of shark fins not attached to the carcass. The bill is not intended to affect fishing, hunting, or farming practices in Canada.
Both Humane Society International and the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies have endorsed the Bill and over 34,000 signatures have been collected in support of it through an online petition started in early March.
As an Oakville Town Councillor in 2011, Ms. Damoff brought forward a Council motion to put an end to shark fin products in Oakville. Oakville council voted unanimously to draft a bylaw that would ban the sale, distribution and consumption of shark fin and cartilage products in the town and to join other municipalities in encouraging Environment Canada to ban shark fin and cartilage products in Canada.
In supporting Bill C-246, Ms. Damoff said, “Oakville’s 2011 bylaw was a landmark in raising awareness about shark-finning. But it was a first step on one aspect of this Bill. Our local humane societies need legislation to take the protectionof animals even farther. I am pleased to support Mr. Erskine-Smith’s bill aimed at ensuring all animals in Canada are adequately protected against cruelty and neglect.”
Kim Millan, Executive Director of the Oakville & Milton Humane Society, said Canada’s animal cruelty laws have remained largely unchanged since 1892.
“Recent amendments have increased penalties for animal cruelty but the offences themselves really have not changed at all in over a century,” said Millan. “I am thrilled that MP Damoff supports the proposed bill to better protect animals both in Halton and across Canada.”