Written by: Martin Ouellet, Canadian Press
QUEBEC — Quebec’s new agriculture minister is promising to clean up the province’s bad reputation as one of the best places to be an animal abuser.
He said he has reached an agreement in principle with Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee that would give critters more status before the courts than inanimate property such as a chair or table.
“We were inspired by what was done in France, where they redefined the concept of the animal as a being that is capable of feeling pain,” Paradis said. “We’re looking into the judicial consequences of that but we don’t want it (the animal) to remain personal property.”
The change in status means the courts will consider pain and suffering when imposing penalties or fines on abusers.
While recognizing the sentient nature of an animal will not give it the same type of rights as for humans, it will increase the obligations on owners and breeders toward their charges.
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