June 27, 2019

Finally, Animals are Winning!

Two important pieces of legislation have passed just before parliament rises for the summer and we couldn’t be happier.

The first, Bill S-203, bans the importation, capture or ownership of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) except for their rescue or rehabilitation. Popularly called the “Free Willy Act”, the legislation falls just short of a full ban on cetaceans in captivity as existing “owners”—namely Marineland and Vancouver Aquarium—are grandfathered. Still, I’m not going to rain on this parade. This is a big win for animal welfare.

The second, Bill C-84, amends the Criminal Code to broaden the definition of bestiality. Shockingly, until this amendment bestiality was only an offense in Canada if it included penetration. The new definition defines the offense as, “any contact, for a sexual purpose, with an animal.” This change makes animals and people safer as child abuse and other forms of sexual exploitation too often horrendously accompany bestiality. 

In a trifecta of good news, C-84 also considerably expands the scope of the offence of encouraging, aiding or assisting at the fighting or baiting of animals or birds.

So, whales and dolphins are free, mostly, bestiality in all its forms is outlawed, along with all sorts of activity related to fighting and baiting animals—all great news for animals and for Canada.

Thank you to Senator Wilfred Moore who introduced S-203, the government, who introduced C-84, and our national partner, Humane Canada, who worked tirelessly to make sure these important pieces of legislation passed.

And of course, thank you to everyone who wrote your MPs in support of these changes. You spoke for those who cannot speak for themselves. Parliament listened to you, and the animals won.

Bruce Roney
President and CEO