Masse Writes Minister of Justice Calling for Government to Introduce Tougher Penalties for Animal Abuse

May 14, 2010

Hon. Rob Nicholson
Minister of Justice Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Sent by Fax: (613) 990-7255

Dear Minister Nicholson,

I am writing today to again call upon your government to make the necessary changes to the Criminal Code of Canada in order to properly punish offenders of animal cruelty.

As you may be aware, this past week my constituency had another horrible case of abuse against a family-owned pet – a black lab was so severely sexually abused that our humane society had to put him to sleep. I have attached the article from our local paper for your attention.

Furthermore, this past January another family cat was tortured to death by brutally being beaten and stabbed while alive, and then was left to die in a plastic bag suffering until it succumbed to its injuries. The sentence of the abuser in this case was time-served (90 days) plus probation. The sad part of this case is that the Judge gave the strictest sentence possible under our current laws. Here is an excerpt from CBC on this case which describes the need for tougher sentences in these cases:

The sentence is the toughest allowed under current laws. The Crown and the defence made a joint recommendation to Justice Lloyd Dean based on other cases of animal cruelty. "The Crown and I determined that this case was deserving of a sentence along the lines of those other cases," defence attorney Brian Dube said. "That's how we came up with essentially a 90-day custody sentence coupled with a two-year probation order."
During the sentencing, Dean said the crimes were "despicable" and told the teenager he would have handed down a longer sentence if the law allowed it.

Please know that I did support Bill S-203 when it passed the House of Commons on April 9, 2008, which was a step in the right direction towards stricter laws. I also fully support Bills C-229 and C-230 which are on the Order Paper as Private Members’ Legislation.

However, I do believe that every community in Canada would like to see even stronger laws for animal abusers, and on behalf of my constituents, I respectfully ask once again that you consider bringing forward amendments to the Criminal Code to ensure that animal abusers are appropriately sentenced under Canadian laws as soon as possible. I am happy to discuss this further with you and look forward to your positive response.

Yours truly,

Brian Masse MP
Windsor West