Acting on the report recommendations of the Sled Dog Task
Force created in February, B.C.
Premier Christy Clark said April
5 the province now has the tough-est anti-animal cruelty laws in
The report recommended 10
changes to enhance the health,
welfare and protection of sled
dogs in British Columbia and
strengthen animal protection
legislation, including the
development of a mandatory
code of practice for sled dog
operators and improvement in
communication and awareness
of animal abuse.
BC SPCA director of cruelty
investigations Marcy Moriarty
told The Lawyers Weekly, the
announcement means lawyers
can expect more help in animal
cruelty cases as well as a more
standardized body of case law.
Further, Moriarty said, the
SPCA now wants to see five more
Crown counsel hired in addition
to one based in Kamloops, B.C.
who specialize in animal cruelty
cases now that stricter legislation
is in the offing.
“If there’s nobody to enforce it
or to approve charges, it doesn’t
mean anything,” said Moriarty, a
University of British Columbia-trained lawyer with a degree in
Clark announced the new
regulations in the wake of public
recoil against the news that 100
sled dogs had been slaughtered
in April 2010 by an employee of
an outdoor adventure company
CANADIAN PRESS/DARR YL DYCK
in Whistler, B.C.
Sled dogs pull tourists in the Soo Valley north of Whistler, B.C. The province
has announced it will act on recommendations of a report written after the
slaughter of sled dogs caused a public outcry.
The information came to
light after the employee was
given workers’ compensation for
post-traumatic stress resulting
from the incident where he
allegedly shot dogs in front of
one another or chased others to
slit their throats.
No one has yet been charged
in the case.
“If Canada can’t get a convic-
tion in this case this is going to be
an embarrassment,” Moriarty said
of the dog deaths which drew
international media attention. “In
the sled dog case, Crown aren’t
familiar by and large with the sec-
tions of the code and the Preven-
tion of Cruelty to Animals Act.”
Clark said the province will
immediately begin the process to
make changes to the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals Act, includ-
ing increasing penalties to up to
$75,000 and 24 months
imprisonment for the most ser-
ious offences, extending the cur-
rent six-month limitation period
for prosecuting offences and
requiring mandatory reporting of
animal abuse by veterinarians.
More samples within data bank mean more hits obtained
Continued From Page 1
mitted an indictable offence.
Proof of guilt is not required. And
because indictable offences
include hybrid offences, finger-
prints can be taken upon arrest
for relatively minor offences such
as shoplifting or common assault.”
In contrast, under s. 487.051(1),
mandatory DNA collection orders
may only be made after a finding
that the young person is guilty of
one or more of 19 crimes desig-
nated by Parliament as “super-
primary” offences, among them
murder, manslaughter, aggra-
vated assault, kidnapping, rob-
bery and extortion.
“Virtually all of the super-pri-
mary designated offences involve
the use of significant violence,
threats of violence, and/or the use
of weapons. As well, in the case of
most of these offences, there is
reason to expect that the offender
may leave his or her DNA evi-
dence at the crime scene,” Justice
Reasons: R. v. K.M., J.B. and D.R.,  O.J.