New bill seeks to protect wild animals from captivity in Canada

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Lawmakers have introduced a new bill in the Canadian Senate that aims to protect wild animals in captivity across the country.

Senator Marty Klyne formally introduced The law projectcalled the Jane Goodall actyesterday.

The bill seeks to completely eliminate the captivity of elephants in Canada, including the importation and breeding of the species.

This decision could have a considerable impact, given that elephant populations are in trouble. Partly due to human interference, such as the ivory trade.

Last year, the African savannah elephant and the African forest elephant were classified as endangered and critically endangered, respectively. The Asian elephant is also classified as endangered, with its population reduce by half over the past 75 years.

the Jane Goodall actif implemented, would also ban the ownership, breeding and possession of a host of other exotic animals, thwarting the business models of many zoos.

The Jane Goodall Act aims to phase out elephant captivity. Credit: Adobe Stock

It’s unclear how many zoos are operating in Canada today, but the Accredited Zoos and Aquariums of Canada (CAZA) – a private organization representing animal entertainment facilities – has 26 animal parks, aquariums and other attractions on his accreditation list at the time of writing.

Additionally, under the proposed law, individuals who attempt to keep wild animals in captivity would also be met with legal hurdles.

Big cats, bears, great apes, whales, dolphins, coyotes, wolves, seals, sea lions, alligators, crocodiles and several types of lizards and exotic snakes all benefit from protections in under the law.

Additionally, the bill would make it easier for the federal government to restrict the captivity of additional species in the future.

“The Jane Goodall act would protect a wide range of large, sensitive animals like lions, tigers, bears and monkeys from suffering unnatural conditions inside tiny enclosures,” said Camille Labchuk, attorney and executive director of animal justice .

“Polls show that most Canadians oppose confining animals to zoos and aquariums, and this important new law takes a giant step in saving countless animals from a lifetime of suffering in captivity.

In effect, a survey by Research Co. in 2019 revealed that more than half (52%) of Canadians were against keeping animals in zoos or aquariums. Additionally, 59% said they oppose the involvement of animals in rodeos.

A “world leader” in animal protection

The bill has been called “precedent setting”. Credit: Adobe Stock

Labchuk continued, “The bill would also provide animals with limited legal status to animals in certain legal proceedings. If passed, this precedent-setting decision would position Canada as a world leader in ensuring the courts are able to consider the best interests of every animal. »

The bill, backed by Dame Goodall herself, was first introduced in November 2020 and has since been updated to include more species.

The proposed legislation is modeled after the Free Willy Act (Bill S-203). This law, passed in 2019, aimed to phase out the captivity, breeding and trade of whales and dolphins.

Animal Justice staff attorney Kaitlyn Mitchell expects the Jane Goodall act will go through the legislative process in the coming months. Amendments could be made during committee stage, she told Plant Based Newsand if all goes as planned, the bill will then go through the House of Commons.

Mitchell told us, “We believe that, like the ‘Free Willy Bill’ before it, which sought to phase out the captivity of whales and dolphins in Canada, the Jane Goodall act will have the support of the Canadian public and we are optimistic that it will eventually become law in Canada.

Interested parties can express their support for the Jane Goodall act signing this online petition.

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