#Animal Welfare
Amendment of Criminal Code


“Microwaving a cat to death in Camrose Alberta”
Excerpt from “Globe and Mail” article September 6,2008

“Just as there is no rational explanation for why two 16-year-old boys in Camrose, Alta., broke into a home and tortured a cat to death in a microwave, there is also no justification for why the two were set loose by a judge with a community-service order and a requirement that they go for counselling, but no custodial sentence.

To kill a living creature, let alone someone's beloved pet, is an act of such appalling cruelty it often foretells serious violence against people; to torture an animal (it was screaming for 10 minutes as it died) deserves a criminal-justice response that reflects society's horror and sorrow at the crime. These two youths purposely set out to inflict pain on the owners of the home they had broken into.

While the Youth Criminal Justice Act is supposed to keep non-violent offenders out of custody, this crime was acutely violent, and deserved punishment. If, heading into an expected fall election, the Conservatives are looking for a rationale for getting tough on youth crime, they have just been handed one.”

Until this year, animals were protected from cruelty under Sections 444-447 of the Criminal Code. Bill S203 was passed by Parliament this year, but is still shamefully inadequate to protect animals The present government would have you believe that the amendment strengthened the legislation. However, numerous animal welfare protection groups and more than 145,000 Canadians signed petitions to squash Bill S203. It still passed.

It is clear from the recent lenient legal decision in the Camrose cat killing that this new amendment is doing nothing to protect animals from these types of horrific actions. As a result of these types of legal decisions, animals continue to be fair game for torture, injury and death with minimal consequences for the persecutors.

Please let us send a message to our candidates in all parties during this election, and to the newly elected government, that we are a compassionate people who wish to create serious legal consequences for these offenders.

The true compassion of any group of people is expressed though their commitment to those who cannot defend themselves.

To: The House of Commons

We, the undersigned, believe that Canada needs to join the 21st century and other civilized countries in creating and passing more stringent legislation against torture and cruelty to animals. The lenient legal decision in the recent Camrose cat killing should never be repeated and we therefore ask Parliament for the following:

That the newly elected government introduce an effective bill to amend the Criminal code in respect to cruelty to animals” and review and revise the Youth Criminal Justice Act so that torture and cruelty to animals:
• becomes a felony offense
• is enforced equally to both legal age and underage offenders;
• is addressed as a priority, in the next parliamentary session, and passed into law.

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The Review Microwave killing of cat in Camrose Alberta petition to Amendment of Criminal Code was written by Deborah Fortney and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.