QUÉBEC, Dec. 18, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Pierre Paradis, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, announced that in Québec, animals are no longer "property," but sentient beings with biological needs. On December 4, 2015, the National Assembly of Québec unanimously passed Bill 54, An Act to improve the legal situation of animals. The bill received assent the same day.
"Québec was considerably behind in terms of animal welfare. This bill represents a positive legislative evolution that reflects advances in our society. By submitting Bill 54, I wanted to bring Québec 20 years forward, but it made a 200-year leap instead. I want to thank the members of the National Assembly for their significant contribution to this piece of legislation. Parliamentarians became the voice of animals," said Minister Paradis.
The Civil Code of Québec is amended so that animals will no longer be considered property, but rather sentient beings with biological needs. Québec also adopted the Animal Welfare and Safety Act to curb unacceptable behaviour. Among other things, it includes penal sanctions of up to $250,000 for a first offence and terms of imprisonment of up to 18 months in the case of a repeat offence.
This bill was inspired by the Canadian legislations at the top of the Animal Legal Defense Fund's ranking, namely those of Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia. In that respect, Minister Pierre Paradis wishes to thank these three provinces for having paved the way.
SOURCE Cabinet du ministre de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation
For further information: Source and information: Office of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Tel.: 418-380-2525