Quebec petition seeks change in legal status for animals

More than 40,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the legal status of animals to be changed in the Quebec Civil Code, the Montreal SPCA said Tuesday.

MONTREAL — More than 40,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the legal status of animals to be changed in the Quebec Civil Code, the Montreal SPCA said Tuesday.

Organizers say the Civil Code currently considers animals to be movable property and that hurting or abusing them is viewed as tantamount to the destruction of property.

“We believe that animals are not toasters,” reads the “Animals Are Not Things” manifesto.

It also states that likening animals to objects also means ignoring the current scientific knowledge.

“Animals’ capacity to feel pain is now the object of broad consensus, at the very least when it comes to vertebrates,” the manifesto reads.

“We are increasingly discovering cognitive and emotional capabilities in animals that are much more complex than once thought — and this holds true not only for primates, dolphins and dogs, but also for cows, rats, and pigeons.”

Sophie Gaillard, a lawyer for the SPCA, said the legal status of animals could be changed in various ways.

In an interview, she said the least constraining would be to give them a “symbolically different status that doesn’t really have an impact on the way they are treated.”

The most restrictive would be to “grant animals a legal status where they would be treated as people.”

While such a scenario may seem far-fetched, Gaillard said companies in Quebec are considered like people when it comes to civil law.

A third option would fall in between, she said.

“Animals could have certain rights but still be subject to ownership,” Gaillard said.

“That would mean people could still own them and buy and sell them but that animals would have certain rights that could be used against their owners.”

The signatories want Justice Minister Stephanie Vallee to listen to their concerns.

Quebec is considered one of the worst jurisdictions in Canada in terms of animal-welfare legislation.

Just Posted

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month