Canadian animal rights laws need more teeth

Seeing animals suffering and in pain is something most of us would rush to remedy. Inflicting suffering and pain on an animal is unthinkable for most.

Yet there are still too many people out there who don’t feel that way, who, either through terrible neglect or outright physical abuse make life a living hell for the creatures in their care.

We wholeheartedly agree with Chris Davies, who has now drafted an animal rights bill, that more needs to be done to put an end to this horrific blight on our society.

We’re not sure why some people get animals.

If the plan is just to tie them up outside and starve them, or they’re so annoying to an owner that said owner regularly hits, kicks and otherwise tortures them, then it escapes us why such a person would acquire a dog, cat, or other pet.

Nobody’s forcing you to keep Fido.

Wouldn’t you rather your pet loved you than was afraid of you? Then there are those irresponsible pet owners who refuse to have them spayed or neutered, even though they are totally

unprepared and unwilling to deal with the offspring.

Such is likely the case that led to someone putting three newborn puppies in a garbage bag and abandoning them to die (see story on page 3).

It’s inconceivable that a true pet lover would act in this way.

Unfortunately, it is also true that even in the cases of most egregious abuse penalties are often relatively light, and many abusers can go on to get more pets with which to repeat the cycle.

All too often a pet is actually left in the hands of the abuser.

The law currently views animals as property.

This is part of the crux of the matter. After all, people can do a lot to their property before it’s viewed as crossing a line.

But unlike material possessions, animals bleed and cry and die.

One needn’t be a vegan to believe that animals deserve to enjoy a good quality of life, for however long they are on this Earth.

It is sad but necessary that there be written and enforceable laws to force everyone to behave in a humane fashion.

MP Jean Crowder will leave big shoes to fill Nanaimo-Cowichan MP Jean Crowder announced Thursday morning her retirement from federal politics, beginning at the next election in 2015.

One thing is certain: she will leave big shoes to fill.

Crowder has represented the Valley in Ottawa for 10 years and in that time she has worked tirelessly for her constituents. She has always been ready and willing to listen and discuss any issue of concern. Her warmth and intellect will be missed.