The accused, Howard Paish, was charged with having wilfully caused unnecessary injury to horses under s. 402(1)(a) of the Criminal Code. Paish operated a guide outfitting business in which horses were an essential component. They were used to transport hunters, guides, camp crew, supplies and game. Without horses the business simply could not operate. During the 1975 season there were about 70 horses at Mr. Paish’s operations. One of the biggest problems during the 1975 season was that there were just not enough horses.
Crown counsel submitted that the allegation that Mr. Paish caused injuries to the horses “by wilful neglect … while they were being used as pack horses and saddle horses by failing to give the horses proper rest” was tantamount to saying that the injuries were caused unnecessarily. The court stressed that the charge did not speak of ill-treating and abusing horses – rather, it speaks of causing unnecessary injury. Concluding that there was no doubt that unnecessary injury was caused to the horses. Finding that the Crown sufficiently proved Paish guilty of the offence beyond any reasonable doubt.
Source: Case Law
Jurisdiction: British Columbia