Finally some good news for dog lovers!
New Zealand and Quebec have officially determined that not only dolphins and chimpanzees, but all animals, including dogs are sentient beings who feel emotions and pain. Harsh punishments are on the agenda to those who abuse animals. As for Quebec, a land once famous for puppy mills, the new law states that “animals are not things. They are sentient beings and have biological needs.”
This law applies to all domestic, farm and certain wild animals. Agriculture Minister Pierre Paradis stated that it is the farmer’s duty to ensure that they take good care of their livestock and that they be “treated with as much dignity as possible” from birth until death. “If you have a goldfish you have to take care of it,” he said. “Don’t get a goldfish if you don’t want to take care of it.”
Inspectors have been given the authority to demand to see an animal under your care if they find any suspicious activity and with a warrant, they will be able to seize your animals. Fines will range from $250 to $250,000, depending on the seriousness of the offense. Those who repeatedly abuse animals will have to pay double or triple fines along with a minimum of 18 months jail time.
“To say that animals are sentient is to state explicitly that they can experience both positive and negative emotions, including pain and distress,” said Dr. Virginia Williams, chair of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee. “The explicitness is what is new and marks another step along the animal welfare journey.”
Cosmetic testing and research on animals has been BANNED.
“Expectations on animal welfare have been rapidly changing, and practices that were once commonplace for pets and farm stock are no longer acceptable or tolerated,” said New Zealand Veterinary Association president Dr. Steve Merchant. “The bill brings legislation in line with our nation’s changing attitude on the status of animals in society.”
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