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Monday, March 10, 2008

Feeble laws protect the offenders

One hundred and one Arabian horses were seized by the Alberta SCPA, most of which were severely malnourished, emaciated, and in dire distress. Twenty nine were already dead from starvation. Other animals in the barn, such as rabbits, goats, and sheep, were in no better shape.
The owner of the farm, Axel Hinz-Schleuter, was previously fined in August of 2005 for neglect. This is his (documented) second offence. Ostensibly, he was unable to pay for their care. He should never have had a horse farm. If times were better in the past (when he could afford their care), he should have had the wherewithal to seek help during these hard times. Apparently, he had prize-winning horses at one time and "loved his horses dearly," according to a trainer who owns a horse purchased in the past from the accused. Seeking help could have meant bankruptcy, but hey, we'd all prefer that over the suffering of these animals.
The owner of the farm faces a fine of up to $20,000 and a prohibition on ever owning horses again. Since a lack of money is what apparently got this guy in trouble in the first place, I'd be satisfied with the latter, however he should not be allowed to own ANY animals in the future. No newts, no rabbits, no horses.
He should have received the $20,000 fine the first time, instead of the meager $1,000. He would have better remembered that number...
Canada's legislation on animal cruelty has remained virtually untouched since the late 1800s. Most are aptly calling them "archaic." People who inflict pain and suffering on animals either deliberately or through neglect cannot be prosecuted. Ironic that the current laws "protect" those that are inflicting the suffering. Slaps on the wrist will not deter humans from inflicting pain and suffering on those who cannot speak for themselves. Let's speak loudly for them.

Canada's animal cruelty legislation: as current and effective as these.


Mel said...

In the US, animal welfare laws are enforced at the state, rather than federal, level. Maine, fortunately, has relatively strong laws. We've had three fairly large puppy mills shut down in the past year, with no chance the people will be allowed to keep animals in this state again. Unfortunately, there's nothing to stop them from moving to a state with lax laws and starting over again.

Anne said...

When I was in my twenties I lived north of Toronto on a farm and it came to my attention that a local farmer was keeping his animals (horses, mules, donkeys etc) in terrible conditions, just horrible. I made a phonecall to the Ontario Humane Society and they went to the farm and seized all the animals. It made the headlines of the Toronto papers, (Animal Farm Horror) It felt good to make a difference in these animals lives. I strongly hope that anyone who is witness to animal cruelty makes that same call.

TorontoVet said...

Good for you! Now what would those animals have done without you?
Kudos to you for having made such a difference.