Animals will be considered "sentient beings" instead of property in a bill
tabled in the Canadian province of Quebec. The legislation states that "animals
are not things. They are sentient beings and have biological needs."
Agriculture Minister Pierre Paradis proposed the bill and wants to change
Quebec's infamous image as a haven for puppy mills
The legislation specifies that animals have biological needs and includes fines
of up to $250,000 for those who are cruel to animals, as well as jail time for
Paradis said the bill puts Quebec more in line with other Canadian provinces
like Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba. The act will apply to all
domesticated and farm animals and certain wild animals. Paradis said he wants to
see animals "treated with dignity as much as possible" it doesn’t matter what
"If you have a goldfish you have to take care of it,"
he said. "Don't get a goldfish if you don't want to take care of it."
Under the bill inspectors will have the power to demand to see an animal if they
have "reasonable cause" to suspect the pet or animal is being mistreated. They
also can also obtain a warrant to enter a home and seize animals. Repeat
offenders would also come under fire as authorities and judges would have the
discretion to increase fines and sentence serial violators to jail for up to 18
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