Lang-Michener LLP 

November 10, 2004

Review of Bill C-22

Excerpts from the legal review of former Bill C-22 relevant to C-246.

(Note – C-22 did in fact pass the House of Commons and was then blocked by the Senate)

The proposed s. 182.2  provides:

182.2 (1) Every one commits an offence who, wilfully or recklessly,

(a) causes or, being the owner, permits to be caused unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal;

(b) kills an animal or, being the owner, permits an animal to be killed, brutally or viciously, regardless of whether the animal dies immediately;

(c) kills an animal without lawful excuse;

Q. Would a provincial fishing or hunting license be adequate to prevent someone from charges under this proposed legislation? Would these licenses provide any protection or defence?

Several groups in the animal use industries have suggested that in the present wording of Bill C-22, anglers and hunters could not be charged for what are presently legal activities as long as they are obeying the fishing and hunting seasons and other regulations, and holding a valid licence.

Is there anything in the Fish and Game Act that defines the legal means by which animals may be killed? Phrasing such as ‘means of capture’ is used in the fishing regulations for spears, archery tackle, nets, etc. and there is a daily possession limited by species/season, but there is no mention of the actual dispatching of an animal to be used for food.

A. No, a provincial fishing or hunting licence would not be adequate, in and of itself, to protect someone from charges under Bill C-22. It is entirely that an individual can be fishing in compliance with all licensing requirements, for example, fishing using the required size of net, appropriate spear, etc., and yet use such tools in such a manner as to commit an offence by willfully or recklessly causing cruelty to an animal. When determining whether someone is guilty under the proposed Bill C-22, in is necessary to look at the manner in which the particular activity in question is carried out, not whether one is licensed under provincial legislation. Therefore holding a valid license should give an individual no protection in and of itself. In order to avoid prosecution under the proposed Bill C-22, it would be necessary to ensure that one does not perform any actions that would constitute the commission of an offence as listed in sections 182.2.