Toronto, October 6, 2016: Last night, in an aggressive move against one of its own, 117 Liberal MPs voted against Bill C-246, the Modernizing Animal Protections Act, authored by Nathaniel Erskine-Smith.
The bill would have banned the sale of dog and cat fur and shark fins and amended the animal cruelty section of the Criminal Code which had not been changed substantively since 1892. The bill closed loopholes related to animal fighting, created a gross negligence offence for animal cruelty, a new offence for killing an animal “brutally or viciously” and a new section called “Offences Against Animals”.
The government did not listen to the thousands of Canadians who wanted the government to show compassion and pass the bill. Instead, Liberal MPs talked about the negative impacts on animal use industries, deaf to the fact that previous analyses of identical Criminal Code amendments by the Justice Department showed that such practices would not be affected.
“The Liberals claim that animal cruelty is a significant social issue” said Liz White, Director, Animal Alliance of Canada. “But talk is cheap. Actions matter and on Bill C-246 the Liberals failed.”