Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Newfoundland and Labrador) v Harding, 2002 NFCA 14 (CanLII)

The respondent, a veterinarian, was charged with two counts of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, contrary to section 446(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

He was acquitted of stabbing a basset hound in the nose with a needle, but was convicted of punching the dog in the ribs. He was given a conditional discharge, six months probation and a $200 victim fine surcharge. He appealed the conviction to the Trial Division. The SPCA appealed the sentence in relation to the conviction and sought a new trial on the acquittal. The Trial Division judge affirmed the acquittal and allowed the appeal in respect of the conviction, thereby acquitting the respondent completely. The SPCA appeals that decision to this court, claiming the Trial Division judge erred in law.

Leave to appeal is granted and the appeal is dismissed. The panel thus affirms the Trial Division decision to the effect that both acquittals stand. However, the court disagreed with the respect to the decision which dealt with the six month limitation period. However, this issue has no bearing on the outcome of the matter because acquittals have been entered in any event.

Source: Case Law

Jurisdiction: Newfoundland and Labrador

Topics: acquittalappealcriminalCriminal Codedoglimitation periodpunchingSPCAstabbingunnecessary painunnecessary sufferingveterinarian

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