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Quebec Remains Best Province to Be an Animal Abuser

Animal Legal Defense Fund's 2014 Report Ranks Laws Across the Country, Calls for Improved Farmed Animal Protection

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/16/14 -- Quebec, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Saskatchewan are the best provinces and territories in Canada to be an animal abuser, according to a new report released today by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). Based on a detailed comparative analysis of the animal protection laws of each jurisdiction, the report recognizes the provinces and territories where laws protecting animals have real teeth, and calls out those like Quebec and Nunavut -- the worst in Canada this year for animal protection laws -- where animal abusers get off easy. ALDF's seventh annual report, the only one of its kind in the nation, ranks every province and territory on the relative strength and general comprehensiveness of its animal protection laws. Manitoba, British Columbia, and Ontario take top honors in 2014 for providing strong protections for animals. But for the first time since ALDF began publishing its Canadian animal protection laws rankings, no improvements were noted since last year.

Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia continue to occupy the top tier of the rankings. In these provinces, animal protection laws cover most species, require veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty, and include incarceration and large fines as possible penalties in cases of non-compliance. Additionally, British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario have specific provisions dealing with animal fighting.

Top Tier:
1. Manitoba
2. British Columbia
3. Ontario
4. Nova Scotia

Middle Tier:
5. Newfoundland & Labrador
6. New Brunswick
7. Yukon
8. Alberta
9. Prince Edward Island

Bottom Tier:
10. Saskatchewan
11. Northwest Territories
12. Quebec
13. Nunavut

Despite the absence of improvements to Canada's animal protection legislation noted this year, recent investigations highlight the need for all provinces to improve their animal welfare laws by protecting -- not exempting -- farmed animals. Undercover investigations conducted by Mercy for Animals Canada revealed egregious animal cruelty at factory farms across the country, including an egg-laying facility in Alberta, a turkey operation in Ontario, a hatchery in Ontario, a veal farm in Quebec, and, most recently, at the largest dairy producer in Canada -- Chilliwack Cattle Company in British Columbia -- where video documentation shows workers viciously kicking, punching, beating, and hitting cows with chains, pipes, canes, and rakes. Currently, only one province in Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador, prescribes mandatory standards of care for farmed animals. In all other jurisdictions, agricultural activities are expressly exempted from provincial animal protection legislation.

"Our annual reports aim to gather support to strengthen and enforce animal protection laws throughout the Canadian provinces," says ALDF executive director Stephen Wells. "One major step toward that end is for all provinces to improve their protection for farmed animals."

The full report, including an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the animal protection laws of each province and territory, are available at aldf.org. ALDF was founded in 1979 with the unique mission of protecting the lives and advancing interests of animals through the legal system. ALDF's latest edition of the "Animal Protection Laws of the U.S.A. and Canada" compendium is also available at aldf.org.

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