Animal Justice Canada will seek to uphold Ontario’s provincial animal protection legislation by seeking leave to intervene in a case challenging the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act – the primary law protecting animals in Ontario from abuse, neglect and cruelty.
The Applicant, Jeffrey Boagerts, is the Vice-President of the Ontario Landowners Association, a property owners’ advocacy group. After failed legislative attempts to gut the OSPCA Act by the Association’s past president and current MPP for Carleton Mississippi Mills, Jack Maclaren, the Association is now turning to the Courts by funding the constitutional challenge. If successful, the challenge would, among other things, limit OSPCA powers to inspect and raise the level of ‘distress’ an animal must experience before cruelty charges can be laid.
“Animal abuse already goes undetected and unpunished far too often in Ontario. Limiting the investigative powers of OSPCA inspectors would make it even easier for abusers to get away with harming animals,” said Nicholas dePencier Wright, Executive Director of Animal Justice. “This would severely undermine Ontario’s ability to protect animals from abuse and neglect.”
Animal Justice recently released a comprehensive report on the OSPCA Act with recommendations for reforms that will afford all animals greater protection against abuse and neglect, including animals in shelters, animals used on farms and animals used in entertainment. The report can be read HERE.
Prominent Toronto lawyer Kevin D. Toyne is representing Animal Justice. Mr. Toyne recently acted for Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in the case of Darwin the Ikea monkey, securing a court order allowing Darwin to live peacefully at the Sanctuary.
The OSPCA Act challenge is expected to be argued in Superior Court in Perth, Ontario later in 2014.
A copy of the Notice of Application for the challenge can be read HERE.