Originally shared by Mary T
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 repeat offenders.
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 animal.
“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 months.