R v Blaikie 2007 BCPC

Mr. Blaikie pled guilty to causing or permitting an animal to be or to continue to be in distress contrary to s. 24 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The SPCA special constable had found Mr. Blaikie’s dog with a wound to its genital area, apparently made in a partially successful attempt to castrate the dog with an elastic band. The Crown successfully sought restitution for the medical treatments for the dog as well as a fine and an order under s. 24(3) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act banning Mr. Blaikie from owning dogs for a period of two years.

The Defence argued that the elastic band method of castration was not cruel, being a similar practice to using steers to castrate cows – as was the usual practice of Mr. Blaikie and his father, and as had been deemed acceptable by some veterinarians. The defence did acknowledge that the practice may have not been appropriate with the dog and that standards of acceptability change. The Defence also registered their disagreement as to the dog’s condition and medical treatment. However, they agreed to the request for restitution and the prohibition on dog-owning for two years.

The Court chose not to comment on the appropriateness of the castration practice, noting that “there is perhaps more to this than meets the eye, in terms of the historical practice and the appropriateness of such practice with respect to small dogs.”

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: British Columbia

Topics: animal crueltyanimalscastrationcruelty to animalsdogdogsPrevention of Cruelty to Animals Actusual and customary practices

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