Tougher laws introduced today against bestiality, animal fighting
Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, makes an announcement on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, regarding the criminal justice system as it relates to animal cruelty. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
OTTAWA -- The Liberal government is proposing to strengthen laws against bestiality and animal fighting.
Legislation tabled today would add a definition to existing bestiality provisions to make it clear the offence prohibits any contact for a sexual purpose between a person and an animal.
Two years ago the Supreme Court of Canada ruled existing bestiality offences only prohibit sex acts with animals in cases where there is penetration -- a loophole the new bill would address.
The bill also would ban a broader range of activities associated with animal fighting, such as promoting, arranging, and profiting off fights, as well as breeding, training or transporting an animal to fight.
In addition, the bill would forbid the keeping of an arena for the purpose of animal fighting, not just cockfighting as the law now stands.
The government says animal fighting has often been linked to organized crime, including illegal gambling and the illicit trafficking of drugs and weapons.